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2 Takeaways from the 2016 High Net Worth Philanthropy Report

Each year the Indiana University Lilly School of Philanthropy, in conjunction with U.S. Trust, Bank of America, releases their annual Study of High Net Worth Philanthropy.

The report is brimming with various stats and charts exploring the various crevices of high net worth giving in the United States.

You can view the Executive Summary here.

Nearly every fundraiser we have the honor to be working with daily has as their goal to build relationships with individuals and families who are part of this group. Obviously, the reason for the relationship build is the hope of being the recipient of a portion of the giving taking place each year.

Based upon those efforts and the objectives two insights shed some light that may actually improve your chances.

1. Number of Causes Supported Annually Varies by Age

The latest report sheds light upon just how many charities are supported on the average. See the results below:

  • Under Age 50 – 5 Organizations Supported
  • Age 50-70 – 7 Organizations Supported
  • Over 70 – 11 Organizations Supported

The better prospect research tools can enlighten the fundraiser regarding how many organizations the high net worth individual is already supporting. This can be a gauge on the amount of effort to be used. This is especially true if the research shows no charitable giving at all!

Please keep in mind 2-3 of the giving slots are usually reserved for their church or a church related organization, and either their past schools, their children’s schools or grandchildren’s schools. This leaves far fewer slots than may tend to appear.

Keep in mind the above stats are averages, which means the proper relationship leading to the proper passion for your cause can make a big difference in your organization being the next one added!

2. Volunteering Leads to Higher Level of Giving

Even among high net worth individuals and families, the act of volunteering influences greatly the number of charities supported and the level of that support.

The report reveals that high net worth individuals volunteer at twice the average of the rest 50% compared to 25%. I think this speaks volumes regarding the feeling of philanthropy that permeates these households.

Four other aspects of the combination of volunteering and giving literally jump out of the report and should be heeded by each and every fundraiser. They are:

  • Those who volunteer give 56% more than those who don’t
  • 49% give to every charity they volunteer with
  • 97% of those under 50 plan to volunteer more in the future
  • 92% of those 50 and over plan to volunteer more in the future

If the four points above are not a wake-up call to action regarding a strategy of mixing volunteering in with building relationships with high net worth individuals and families, then one would wonder what additional evidence is needed!

Please take the time to at least peruse the report if you are a fundraiser and if possible share with your CEO and/or board chair.

Were there any other key points you felt should be highlighted with others reading this post? If so, please share in the comment section.

Best of luck in putting these items into practice in your fundraising efforts!

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