Nov 28, 2022

Jeff Bezos: Does US-style philanthropy exist in UK?

What does philanthropy mean in 2022? And does it mean the same thing in the US as it does in the UK, asks Stephen Smith. As for his creditors, far from congratulating themselves on the effectiveness of their altruism, they are now out of pocket by as much as $8bn. Meanwhile, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos announced his intention to give "Most of my fortune away" in his lifetime, a generous-sounding gesture for a man who is worth $117.5bn according to Forbes. Aspects of culture - and tax - help to explain differing attitudes to philanthropy in the UK and US. Americans gave $484.85bn to charity in 2021, according to the National Philanthropic Trust in the States. The US has roughly five times the population of the UK but Americans give 45 times as much. "Rich people in the US face expectations that those who've made it financially will give some - or a lot - away," says Dr Beth Breeze, director of the Centre for Philanthropy at the University of Kent.

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