Daniel Petre gives 35% of his net worth to charity -- and says the efforts of Australia's richest are 'sad and disgusting'

AirTree VenturesDaniel Petre

Prominent Australian businessman Daniel Petre has outlined a plan to have Australia’s richest people give more to charity.

In a post on Medium the co-founder of AirTree Ventures and former MD at Microsoft Australia says while its great to hear Australians such as Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest give to philanthropic causes, more attention should be paid to their net worth to put the donation into context.

Petre devised a benchmark whereby those who have at least $50 million in net worth should allocate 20% of their net worth to philanthropy.

“I arrived at this benchmark from spending years working with Bill Gates and subsequently watching his work with the giving pledge where the most wealthy commit to allocating more than 50% of their wealth to charity,” he said.

“So I took this and then tried to find a % lower than 50 but where the donor could easily make the allocation to philanthropy while they are alive — and not having to make any changes at all to their lifestyle (regardless how extravagant it was).”

He added: “My argument is that if you are living happily with $50m of net worth you can live just as happily on 80% of this ($40m) without having to suddenly start buying clothes at Vinnies Op Shops — and you get to give away $500K annually (5% of the $10m that is now sitting in your foundation — $10m being 20% of $50m) to worthwhile charities that you care about… So you live a great life without any changes at all and others less fortunate are better off. Win — Win.”

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Petre said that while he has less to give than Australia’s richest, he and his wife allocate around 35% of their net worth to their foundation and plan to put more towards it in the coming years.

“Is this great… Nope. However better than average and better than most on the Rich List who have far more discretionary wealth than we do,” he said.

“Still our efforts are not great and the efforts of most of our wealthy are somewhere between sad and disgusting.

“Great is an average Australian who has less to give (as they have a very tight budget) and yet they give money to charities.

“I suspect thousands of regular Australians give away more than 0.06% or even 0.29% of their net worth each year to charities and they do not get any fawning articles written about them nor catch ups with the Prime Minister.

“Can we please always look at the % of net worth being donated and not focus on the absolute numbers because the test of true philanthropy is how much it hurts or impacts your life (as a donor). At anything less than 1% of your net worth being donated each year is simply not worthy of accolades nor attention.”

Read the original article in full on Medium >>

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