Emergent Philanthropists: America's Evolving Ethnic Donor Groups
Historic philanthropy patterns of America’s affluent donors are giving way to a more complex and disparate population that represents our country’s patchwork communities. The systematic and predictable giving methods by the rich no longer dominate our donor bases. Diverse communities are emerging with new giving patterns and objectives.
Affluent African-Americans, Asian-Americans and those of Hispanic heritage are joining the donor ranks of many organizations. Their concepts of philanthropy encompass giving from all available resources including time, expertise, money and combined efforts. Nonprofit organizations will need to embrace fresh communication styles and adopt flexible stewardship, solicitation and recognition efforts to garner more involvement and support from these emergent philanthropists.
Giving in the U.S.
People living in the United States are more philanthropic than residents of any other country. The stats say it all:
- 80 percent of American households donate annually; with 129 million households in the U.S., that’s more than 100 million making gifts to charitable organizations!
- More than $300 billion was donated in each of the past few years.
- More than eight of every 10 donations are given by individuals versus donations from corporate entities or large private foundations.
- Charitable giving has increased nearly 3 percent on average every year over the past 40 years.
- Average household giving is nearly $3,000 each year.
- For households with annual incomes between $100,000 and $1 million, the average is just less than $5,000, and for households with $1 million or more in annual income, the average household gift jumps to nearly $60,000 each year.
It’s estimated that one in every five households in the U.S. is affluent — defined as having household income around $100,000 or higher.
Traditionally, the affluent have been middle-aged, white, married men whose wealth was inherited or self-made through business ventures. Today, an affluent household is just as likely to be headed by someone younger, more entrepreneurial, a minority, a woman or a combination of these.