At our great universities, scholars concern themselves with the habits of honeybees and ancient Egyptians. But for the presidents of those universities, a top priority these days is the detailed study of two somewhat distinct cultures roughly centered around Palo Alto, Calif. and Greenwich, Conn.
Silicon Valley’s high-tech entrepreneurs and hedge-fund managers in their plush satellite communities around Wall Street have become used to frequent visits from university presidents, museum directors—indeed, anyone charged with fundraising for a nonprofit.
The two groups, the twin engines of wealth-creation in our time, both donate substantially. But these rich are different from Fortune 500 CEOs. Hedge-fund and tech-sector donors aren’t content to write checks for established programs, says Bruce Flessner, a principal at Bentz Whaley Flessner , which advises non-profits on how to score grants. Rather, the hedgies and techies look for non-profits that are as inventive as they are. “They give to change the world.’ Flessner says.
As much as hedge-funders and tech entrepreneurs are unlike other donors, they are also different from each other. Each individual donor has his or her own favored causes and methods, but a look both sectors generally reveals different patterns in how, and to whom, the two clans tend to give.Page 1 of 6 | Next Page