Monday, November 26, 2007

"Giving is the New Taking" has just released its 8 Trends to Capitalize on in 2008. In Trend No. 1, "Status Spheres," Trendwatching declares that "giving is the new taking" and challenges us to find "one high-profile billionaire who's not deeply into 'giving' right now." This assessment is largely based on the recent Business Week report on the 50 most generous philanthropists.

This is great news, but what happens when the giving trend goes the way of last season's color? How do we effectively transform giving from being the latest trend to being a sustainable and inherent part of life and business?

Perhaps the global investment bank, Goldman Sachs, has already begun this process. They just announced a new donor-driven philanthropy fund, GS Gives, that will initially focus on "the firm's roughly 350 partners who will be strongly encouraged to donate a fixed amount of their compensation."

The article explains that while other investment banking firms also offer donor-advised funds and encourage philanthropy, the funds are usually geared towards clients and not employees. But, as Goldman Sachs Chairman and CEO Lloyd C. Blankfein has stated, 'We know we make a lot of money, and we know that we live in this world and we have a responsibility to give something back.'

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, large companies like Goldman Sachs aren't the only ones making a corporate investment in and commitment to philanthropy. Small businesses such as the Hook and Ladder Brewing Company and ColorMe Company donate a percentage of each sale to charity, while companies such as Sweetriot Inc. donate in-kind services.

Even small, independent makers of handcrafted items are getting in on the act through grassroots groups such as Etsy For Charity.

Hopefully all of this means that giving will stay as ubiquitous as the little black dress.


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