THE NEW CARNEGIES; New Philanthropist: Sir Tom Hunter, below Right, Aims Eventually to Give Away His Whole Fortune, like Andrew Carnegie Medical Charity: Ann Gloag

Daily Mail (London), May 3, 2008 | Go to article overview

THE NEW CARNEGIES; New Philanthropist: Sir Tom Hunter, below Right, Aims Eventually to Give Away His Whole Fortune, like Andrew Carnegie Medical Charity: Ann Gloag


Byline: Jim McBeth

WHEN Andrew Carnegie was an old man, he declared: 'A man who dies richdies disgraced!' The billionaire famed as the most philanthropic Scot inhistory described this philosophy as the Gospel of Wealth, which decreed thatall personal riches beyond that required to satisfy your family's needs must beregarded as a trust fund for the benefit of the less fortunate.

His peers did not understand the concept of him giving away his great wealthbut they were American and the Fife-born U.S. steel magnate was the antithesisof the unjust national stereotype that presents the Scots as mean.

Only last week, a survey into charity donation concluded Scots were the UK'smost generous givers. Indeed, one in six said they would tithe 10p in the poundfrom their salary, in order to give more. The same survey, for the CharitiesAid Foundation, declared officially that three of Scotland's richest citizens -Sir Tom Hunter, Margie Moffat, founder of the AT Mays travel chain, and theAberdeen oil baron Sir Ian Wood - were the most generous people in Britain.

Historically, it has been the megarich, such as Carnegie, Sir Tom, Mrs Moffatand Sir Ian, who had the capability to do great good. In fact, 89 years afterCarnegie's death, he is technically still giving - [pounds sterling]54million a year from afoundation.

But between Carnegie's passing and the emergence of these New Victorians, itseems there have been fewer wealthy Scots who worried about going to theirgraves with his disapprobation ringing in their rich ears.

In a heartless 20th century, the general decline in compassion for others wasreinforced by a philosophy of greed in the 1980s. But now a new breed ofScottish philanthropist for the 21st century has emerged and they have themeans to provide sums even Carnegie could only dream of.

Sir Tom Hunter, Scotland's richest man, who created and sold a sports shopempire, has spent millions on everything from teacher training in theNorth-East to hunger relief in Uganda.

He has promised to disburse his entire [pounds sterling]1billion fortune before he dies.

A more reclusive Mrs Moffat, 85, pledges [pounds sterling]50million to charity, in honour ofher late husband, Jim. The even less well-known Sir Ian Wood, boss of the WoodGroup, dedicates a similar sum to good works.

They are joined by old campaigners such as Stagecoach founder Ann Gloag, wholast year gave away [pounds sterling]18million, and former Kwik-Fit owner Sir Tom Farmer.

He sold the company for [pounds sterling]1billion and now spends his life working on globalcharity projects. A devout Catholic, he was honoured with a Papal knighthoodand, in 2005, became the first Scot to be awarded the Andrew Carnegie Medal forPhilanthropy.

The awards ceremony at the Scottish parliament was the first conducted outsidethe U.S.

Millionaire entrepreneur Duncan Bannatyne, 59, who made his fortune from healthclubs and is now a star of BBC's Dragon's Den, is newer to giving but sums upthe philosophy of the New Victorians.

'Giving away the money you make is the best reason for making it in the firstplace,' says Mr Bannatyne, the son of a Glasgow factory worker, who is worth[pounds sterling]300million. 'You have to ask yourself, "Do I want to be the richest person inthe cemetery?"' Theresa Lloyd, the author of Why Rich People Give, says: 'Thereasons for giving are complex, a range of influences - upbringing, tradition,family and religion. A key aspect is that they want to feel they are valued andrecognised for the concern and passion that motivates them.' Sir Tom Farmeragrees a feelgood factor is part of giving but his motivation comes from hisupbringing in Leith. He says: 'In my community, you were encouraged to share -not necessarily give away everything you had but a part of it. I was brought upon principles of Christianity - and other good religions - which demanded youbehave a certain way. …

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