Wealthiest Donors Gave 9 Percent of Their Income in 2007, Study Finds
People in the survey cited a desire to help their local communities and an obligation to support the same organizations as the main reasons they gave, findings that were consistent with the 2006 study. A desire to be recognized publicly and to advance career goals were the two least-common motivations given by those in the survey.
“The biggest motivators are things we’d categorize as altruistic, and things that are the least powerful are those that are egoistic,” said Mr. Rooney.
Forms of Giving
The study also found that affluent households are becoming more strategic about how they give and about the various vehicles they create to support nonprofit groups.
Fifty-six percent of people in the survey said they had created a will with a provision to donate money to charity, while another 37 percent said they would consider establishing such a vehicle in the next three years. Endowments, charitable-remainder trusts, and private foundations were also popular among people in the study.
Of the 29 percent of people in the survey who had a private foundation or said they would consider setting one up, 51 percent said they would do so to maximize charitable deductions and 36 percent cited a desire to avoid capital-gains taxes.
“While giving itself may not be overally impacted by tax incentives, the choice of vehicle is,” said Ms. Costello.
Among the survey’s other findings:nDonors said they cared more about whether charities demonstrated sound business practices and spent an appropriate amount on administrative costs than they did other concerns.
* People who made their money from a family-owned business or a start-up company tended to give far more, on average, than those who derived their money from other sources.
* While giving online became more common from 2005 to 2007, it did not catch on in a big way with affluent people. Sixteen percent of wealthy people gave online in 2007, a 1-percent increase over 2005. Nearly ninety-three percent of people in the study gave via cash and check, by far the the most common way to donate.