Why do all the big banks in America with their private wealth management groups think they know all about philanthropy? Managing wealth is one thing, diversifying portfolios are another, and estate planning is a whole other beast. But when it comes to philanthropy, or giving well, as I like to think about it, philanthropy entails so much more insight, wisdom and knowledge that the big banks simply do not have. They are not well read on the subject matter from either a practical standpoint or an academic standpoint. Most barely give any major money from their own pockets – yes, they give corporately to look good in society or to schmooze some clients, but here again, this is something totally different. Forget black ties and galas – that is not philanthropy – those events are nothing more than social gatherings for fundraising. And fundraising and philanthropy are not synonymous. What tends to really go on is a wealthy family with their own family foundation comes to a big bank, is treated like royalty, and then the bank wants to manage all of the families liquid assets including their foundation. This does not show any real expertise in philanthropy or foundations, but rather the typical agenda to manage more of your money.