2012 Bank of America Study of High Net Worth Philanthropy: My Take Aways

Donations

Donations (Photo credit: Matthew Burpee)

Here are some of the stats I found most interesting from the 2012 Bank of America Study of High Net Worth Philanthropy:

95 percent of high net worth households donated to at least one charity.

In 2011, high net worth households were most likely to give to education (79.6 percent).

Average amount donated by high net worth households to charity, overall, declined 7 percent from 2009 — from $56,621 (adjusted to 2011 dollars) to $52,770.

The smallest proportions of high net worth households gave $500,000 or more (1.0 percent), or more than $100,000 (5.0 percent) as their largest gift in 2011.

High net worth donors gave the highest average amount in contributions to organizations both where they volunteered and believed their gift would have the largest impact ($102,642).

High net worth individuals were least likely to volunteer by planning events (53.8 hours on average) and fundraising (53.1 hours on average).

Of the high net worth households that stopped support for any organization in 2009 or 2011, most were most likely to stop support for an organization that solicited them too frequently or asked for an inappropriate amount — with rates of response at 59 percent and 38 percent, respectively.

High net worth donors are consistently motivated to give because they feel moved about how their gift can make a difference, with the highest proportion of donors reporting this as a motivation in both 2009 and 2011 (72.4 percent and 74.0 percent, respectively).

The greatest proportion (76.4 percent) of high net worth donors reported feeling a sense of accomplishment when the organization benefiting from their gift creates results or impact.

From 2008 to 2011, the highest percentage of high net worth donors made donations using cash or checks (92.7 percent), with 67 percent of these donors planning on giving by cash or check in future years (2012 to 2014). The method least likely to be used for charitable giving was in the form of non-financial assets, like real estate or collectibles. About 13 percent of high net worth donors gave using this method from 2008 to 2011, and 12 percent plan to do so in 2012 to 2014.
High net worth donors were asked to cite the three most important issues in the public policy arena that matter to them. The highest percentage of high net worth donors reported education at 60 percent, while health care was cited by 45 percent. Concerns about the economy were reported the third most often.

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