Downton Abbey reminds us that hanging out with the old money set has its advantages. Are the Earl and countess of Grantham, along with the rest of the Crawley clan “old money?” Of course. As Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) said, “Your lot buys. My lot inherits it.”
Your local area has established money. It also has new money. It’s been said “Money shouts, wealth whispers.” How do you rub shoulders with the right crowd?
First, you need to identify the right crowd. Buy a book about the history of your local area. It will list the founding families. They likely have streets or businesses named after them. It’s possible their descendants aren’t rolling in bucks. It’s been said “The first generation builds the business, the second makes it a success and the third wrecks it.” (Attributed to Andrew Carnegie.) There’s a positive hidden here: Family descendants are often regular people living normal lives. They aren’t celebrities. They are approachable.
Where do you find them?
Start by buying into the concept that old money and philanthropy go hand in hand. Understand spending for the social good is a prime aim of old money philanthropy. Learn about the local non-profit sector in your area. Some Google research will identify the universe of groups. Each often has its old money patrons. They attend events. Here are some of the places to look:
They are the obvious choice. The annual report, usually available online will talk about donors and awards. You will see some of those established names as they likely attend these events.
Andrew Carnegie was famous for establishing more than 2,500 of them. Old money sees libraries as a path to knowledge and learning for the disadvantaged. Even today, many poorer American’s don’t have Internet access. That’s a benefit libraries provide.
3. Botanical gardens
In years past the poor lived in tenement housing with little access to sunshine or outdoor space. There was a major movement to establish public parks in big cities. Botanical gardens are one of the quieter, often-overlooked types of parks. Wealth whispers.
4. Historical societies
If you had to choose one venue, this would be it. The town has founding families. Often the Society is based in an old mansion. The descendants likely belong to the Society. They attend parties and events and they are often quite approachable.
5. Private clubs