Charity Contributions Increase 28 Percent Among The Wealthy

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The average amount of charity contributions among wealthy families increased 28% according to the 2014 U.S. Trust Study of High Net Worth Philanthropy.

Wealthy families have strong commitment to charity

Last year, the average amount of charity giving among high net worth households was $68,580 compared with $53,519 in 2011.

The study found that 98.4% of wealthy families donated to charity last year, up from 95.4% in 2011. The increase demonstrates that households with high net worth are committed to the causes of charitable organizations.

According to the study, 85% of wealthy donors plan to donate more (35%) or as much as 50% over the next three to five years. In 2012, 76% wealthy donors said they planned to give more (24%) or as much as 52% to charity.

Some of the main reasons cited by the donors who intend to donate more to charity include “increased financial capacity” and the “perceived need of the nonprofits or causes.”

Claire Costello, national philanthropic practice executive for U.S. Trust said,  “This year’s study, more than ever, tells us that when wealthy donors are intentional about and engaged in their giving – when they find that meaningful intersection between their ideas and ideals – they give more, are more impactful and more personally fulfilled.”

Volunteerism remained strong

The study also found that the spirit of volunteerism among wealthy individuals remained strong in 2013. Seventy-five percent (75%) of the respondents are volunteers to at least one nonprofit organization. Those who volunteered last year, 59% spent 100 hours while 34% spent 200 hours volunteering for charity causes.


Based on the study, volunteerism and the average amount of charity giving have strong connection. In 2013, the charity contribution of wealthy donors who volunteered were 73% higher ($76,572) than those who did not volunteer ($44,137).

Thirty-four percent (34%) wealthy families gave their largest charity contributions to religious organization, 27% to educational causes including higher education (19%) and K-12 (8%).

Charity Giving Religious

Motivations behind charity giving

According to the study, wealthy families are motivated to give to charity because they believed that their gifts can make a difference (74%); they feel personal satisfaction (73%), and they support the same causes annually (66%).

Others are motivated to philanthropy because they want to give back to the community (63%), and they are volunteering or serving on the board of a nonprofit organization (62%). Thirty-four percent (34%) cited tax advantage as their main motivation for charity giving.

The  full study can be found here 2014_US_Trust_Study_of_High_Net_Worth_Philanthropy.

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