Forget the warnings that reducing or eliminating income tax deductions will pull the rug out from under charitable giving by the wealthy.
A new study by SEI Private Wealth Management shows that giving “defines individuals and gives a purpose to their wealth.”
Indeed, most high-net-worth donors would give more if they could develop a strategic approach and better measure the effects of their philanthropy.
SEI surveyed some 200 multimillionaires with average net worth of nearly $11 million online last November.
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SEI found that individuals donated 12% of their wealth to causes every year, with women likely to give 20% more than men.
However, respondents’ actual giving contrasted sharply with how much they would like to allocate to causes—more than 19% of their wealth. They are not doing so mainly because they want stronger evidence that their gifts are making a difference.
But so-called impact giving is only one influence on respondents’ giving behavior. Seventy-eight percent said giving was central to their lives, and 85% said it made them feel more connected to their wealth.
The report said that although the level of wealth would always be important in determining how much donors gave, the sense of purpose transferred to families could not be underestimated.
“Bringing the family closer together, recognition among peers and developing a legacy all play a part,” the report said.