Financial Times Philanthropy Column

Today marks the debut of my gig as a columnist for the Financial Times. The column will appear in the Wealth at the Weekend section once a month. I’ve been given wide latitude to write about philanthropy from many perspectives. Regular readers of Tactical Philanthropy will recognize many of the themes in my first column titled “Philanthropy not just for the ultra-rich”. One of the fun aspects of writing both the column and this blog is the way I can have the two interact. So if you’re a Financial Times reader visiting the blog, leave a comment or send me an email about any questions you might have or ideas for future columns. If you’re a regular Tactical Philanthropy reader, let me know what you think of the column and which of the topics we regularly discuss here you’d like to see make it into a future column.

Bill Gates. Warren Buffett. The massive transfer of wealth between generations. Stories abound about billions of dollars being set aside for charity. Yet there is an even bigger story unfolding; the story of a growing number of everyday individuals who are waking up to the fact that they, too, can engage in philanthropy.

The fact is that philanthropy is no longer only for the ultra-rich. A good rule of thumb is that you should consider philanthropic tools such as transferring stock or using a donor advised fund if you give more than $500 a year. If you give more than $25,000 a year you can consider charitable trusts and private foundations – the same tools utilised by Gates and Buffett. 

You can read the rest of the column on the Financial Times website.

The Financial Times is published in London (you’ll note the British spelling used in my column) but is distributed internationally and has a circulation second only to the Wall Street Journal among financial newspapers.

Readers know how much I like feedback, both positive and negative. Well the editors of the Financial Times feel the same way. So if you liked my column or think my ideas are idiotic, send them an email at and maybe your thoughts will end up in print.

Lastly, I’d like to point out that the Financial Times has some of the best philanthropy coverage of any major daily. You can find a whole section of their website dedicated to philanthropy here.


  1. Holden says:


    Don’t go changing, now. This will be awesome – a mainstream columnist who listens.

  2. Kudos, Sean. Nice way of making the point that you don’t have to be a Gates or Buffet to make a difference. There’s a role for EVERYONE.

    Keep ’em coming.

  3. Thanks guys. Don’t worry Holden, I’ll keep listening.

  4. Congratulations, and thanks for the fyi.

  5. Thanks Nick. The philanthropy section of the FT, which I think you mean by my “FYI”, is really good. Lauren Foster (my new editor) has some great articles.

  6. Michael Vitali says:

    Certainly you must recognise that you can utilise this opportunity to maximise your appreciation of British spellings. Your column will indeed add colour to the conversation. Brilliant!

    Seriously, congratulations on a great debut.