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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Giving Habits of the Wealthy

Bank of America Merrill Lynch recently published a study that takes a closer look at the giving habits of high net worth individuals. This study is the latest in a series of in-depth reports on high net worth philanthropic trends, produced as part of an ongoing research partnership between Bank of America Merrill Lynch and The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University.  Below are some of the highlights from the study.

What Motivates Wealthy People To Give?
Three of the top four major motivations were consistent for men and women:
  • believing their gift will make a difference (81.7% women, 70.9% men),
  • giving to an organization that is efficient in its use of donations (80.5% women, 69.2% men),
  • and feeling financially secure (77.1% women, 69.5% men).
The study did note some differences between women and men. First, women (65.7 %) are more likely than men (49.8%) to give to charity because they volunteer at the organization.  Men are more likely to support the same organizations each year than women (67.9 % for men vs. 59.5%for women). About 44 % of women were more likely to give to charity to set an example for young people (only 25.1% of men).

What Types of Charities Do They Tend To Support?
Respondents reportedly gave the largest share of their giving in 2009 to foundations, trusts and funds (22.1 %).  The rest of their giving was distributed as follows:
  • educational organizations (19.3%)
  • religious organizations (13.3 %)
  • youth or family services (8.8%)
  • basic needs such as organizations that provide food  and shelter (4.7 percent)
  • environment/animal care (3.5 %)
  • international aid or the promotion of world peace (2.8 %)  
Do They Make Giving A Family Affair?
The participants were also asked about their family history – did their family have a tradition of giving? A majority of both high net worth women (66.3 %) and men (67.9%) reported that they have family traditions (such as volunteering as a family) as a part of their annual charitable giving.

Photo provided by ra3rn.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The three reasons why people give were interesting to me. Being closely related to several non-profit organizations, I'm not sure we keep these in mind as much as we should.

It's always hard to see the forest when you are the thick of things!

Thanks for refocusing my vision.