So, exactly why are philanthropists giving money away?
Well there are a whole host of reasons, many of them being unique to each philanthropist - whilst encompassing other secondary motives at the same time. Here, I am going to go over the more general reasons.
Perhaps they just give money away just to get that buzz, maybe they just want some of that 'feel good factor' knowing that from their success they are helping out others.
Or maybe that they are wanting fame and want to be talked about, or just to simply be remembered. No one remembers the successful business man who simply sold on his fortune, retired comfortably and then passed away, do they?
E.g Bill gates the famous entrepreneur who was apart of setting up the major software company, Microsoft. Has set up his own charitable foundation with his wife Melinda, naming the foundation after themselves - the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Then Warren Buffet, a famous business investor made a name for himself by giving the biggest donation in Philanthropy history with a donation to the foundation of around $31 Billion.
Then again maybe they are trying to differentiate themselves and their business from the rest of their competition by developing a level of corporate social responsibility, so the public will look upon their business in a positive manner. Giving themselves 'the competitive advantage of philanthropy'.
Maybe they are trying to protect something that is national treasure, that would otherwise be lost. For example: An old building or painting that needs funds to be restored or maintained. They are just doing their bit for their country.
They might feel that they need to take hold of the reigns, that there local governmental authority isn't taking action and they need to be the one who builds the new school for example, or sets up a charity that is aiming to get things done. Solving the problem.
As they might feel as an individual, because they make the decisions - they can operate faster, more efficiently than governments, and hence they have the tools to make the world a better place.
They could simply be giving away money for the tax benefits, as by going below a certain income threshold - they are in fact saving themselves in the long run from giving away more money in tax.
The philanthropist could have an unique emotional attachment to something, and they feel they need to go out and get it done or help it. For example, they are passionate about the Amazon Rainforest so they have invested millions of dollars into preventing it from being cut back.
They just want to give something back, they might feel that they owe their wealth and success to a particular area or to particular people. For example a particular group of employees from a local area, that helped form his wealth - he might in return offer them free housing etc.
For example: Keanu Reeves gave £50 million worth of his earnings to the back ground staff that helped him film The Matrix Sequels, and gave away $6000 Harley Davidsons to other members.
If you can think of any other reasons why Philanthropists are giving money away, please be sure to add them to the comments below.