Philanthropy experiment: 12 strangers; £100,000; four weeks. How did they give it away?

The Wealth Shared philanthropic experiment participants included a teaching assistant, a tax collector and a retiree.

Why It Matters

In making giving decisions, affluent benefactors tend to rely on their judgement or the advice of paid staff and advisors. But what if there's a better, fairer way?

It sounds like the start of a joke: 12 strangers walk into a community centre and are asked to give away £100,000. But this was no jest. After his mother died, 33-year-old UK researcher David Clarke decided to donate a portion of his inheritance. But rather than set up a foundation or a donor-advised fund, he devised a novel philanthropic experiment called Wealth Shared. Clarke sent letters to 600 of his neighbours in Liverpool, inviting their participation in a group process to give away £100,000 ($171,000) of his wealth to charity.

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