Compelled to Give
There were 13.2 million black households in the United States in 2001,constituting 12.4 percent of all households in the country. Within these households, income, wealth and charitable giving have risen at a steady rate in recent years.
This according to “Wealth Transfer Estimates Among African-American Households,” a recently released report by researchers at the Boston College Center on Wealth and Philanthropy, authored by Paul Schervish and John Havens.
The report also looks at statistical patterns and trends in income, wealth and philanthropic giving in black households, and examines blacks’ ability to make charitable gifts and leave bequests during the 55-year period from 2001 through 2055.
What’s more, the study estimates that the total amount of wealth to be transferred from black households through estates during this period will range between $1.1 trillion and $3.4 trillion.
Perhaps the most compelling findings from this study as it relates to nonprofit fundraisers is data that show that in the period from 1992 through 2001, income and wealth for black households have risen at an annual rate of 4 percent and charitable giving has risen at an annual rate of 5 percent. These statistics show black households are giving to charity at a faster rate than their income and wealth accrue.
Motivations for giving
While the report found the amount of wealth possessed by black households is limited compared with all other households, and thus limits their wealth transfer, charitable bequests and overall charitable giving, there’s no doubt that African-Americans are motivated to give.
The Donor Research Project, a research initiative conducted at the Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society at the City University of New York Graduate Center in conjunction with the Coalition for New Philanthropy in New York, analyzed why and to whom blacks give through face-to-face interviews with 58 black donors in New York from 2002 to 2003.