What You Need to Know
- 90% of wealthy American households made charitable donations in pandemic-disrupted 2020.
- 30% of survey participants volunteered in 2020 despite the constraints of social distancing.
- 90% of affluent households that increased their giving for basic needs and medical care donated to local organizations.
Some 90% of wealthy American households made charitable donations in pandemic-disrupted 2020, and 47% donated to nonprofits or financially supported individuals or businesses in direct response to the pandemic, according to a new study from Bank of America and Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, 93% of households maintained or increased their giving to frontline organizations providing basic needs, healthcare and medicine, while 85% maintained or increased their giving for spiritual and religious purposes and 94% did the same for other purposes, such as education, the arts and the environment.
In addition, 30% of survey participants volunteered in 2020 despite the constraints of social distancing and other challenges brought on by the pandemic. Among these, 48% maintained and 23% increased their volunteer activities.
“This sustained commitment by donors shows the importance of a strategic approach to philanthropy that is still flexible enough to respond to a sudden surge in need,” said Ann Limberg, head of philanthropy at Bank of America Private Bank, in a statement.
“It is also a testament to the resilience of those charitable organizations that were able to pivot and effectively use technology to engage with donors during such difficult times.”
The study was based on a survey conducted by Ipsos among 1,626 U.S. households with a net worth of $1 million or more (excluding the value of their primary home) or an annual household income of $200,000 or more.
Shifts in Giving Behavior The study revealed three distinct shifts in giving behavior related to the pandemic.