The vast majority of donors who are married or live with a partner make charitable giving decisions together and agree on those decisions, Fidelity Charitable, a major donor-advised-fund sponsor, reported Monday.
Fidelity’s report, “How Couples Give,” found that on average, only 11% of couples disagreed at times on which charities to support and how much to give based on those decisions. The majority equally supported organizations that were important to each spouse or partner.
The study also found, however, only half the donors surveyed said they discussed an overall charitable budget for the year, and less than a third discussed what assets to contribute.
Men and women also differed about who took the lead role in giving decisions and how equally they share in the decisions made with their spouses or partners.
An income increase may also influence how a couple gives. In a 2015 study of traditional couples, the Women’s Philanthropy Institute at Indiana University reported that when the man’s income increases, the couple is likelier to donate to religious, youth, international and combined-purpose entities and to give larger amounts to those organizations.
When the woman’s income increases, the study found, the couple is likelier to focus on, and give more to, charities that provide for basic human needs.