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6 Facts for Understanding High Net Worth Giving

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A 2014 study by US Trust/Bank of America and the Indiana University Lilly School of business revealed 6 key facts related to high net worth givers:

  1. On the positive side, giving by high net worth households increased by 28.1 percent with an average gift of $68,580.
  2. On the other hand, giving as a percentage of income declined by 8.7 percent in 2011 to 7.8 percent in 2013.
  3. As wealth goes up so does giving: those with household wealth of $5 million or more gave on average $166,602, while those with household wealth of $1 million to $4,999,999, gave $24,955.
  4. More households—78.2 percent—were willing to make unrestricted gifts versus restricted gifts—20.1 percent.
  5. Giving vehicles to charity continued to climb—28 percent—compared to 23.4 percent in 2011.
  6. The vast majority of high net worth givers—82.5 percent—still give out of their personal income instead of using vehicles.


A few takeaways

What do we make of these statistics? Here are 3 lessons:

  1. Giving among the high net worth as a percentage of income is still higher than the general population—7.8 percent to approximately 2 percent for the majority.
  2. The decline in giving as a percentage of income reflects the broader squeeze across the economy and the markets—there continues to be more uncertainty for all.
  3. As there is increased uncertainty, people are increasingly looking for creative ways to give, including giving things like vehicles.


About Bill High

Bill is CEO of the Signatry: A Global Christian Foundation. He works with families, individual givers, and financial advisers to share the foundation’s message regarding biblical generosity and charitable giving. He is the co-author with David Green of Giving It All Away and Getting It All Back Again: The Way of Living Generously: » Learn More

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