Yesterday, the 2010 Study of High Net Worth Philanthropy was released. Produced by Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, and the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, this is the third edition of the study, which was also issued in 2008 and 2006.
High-net-worth households are defined as those with annual incomes of $200,000 or more, or whose net worth is $1 million or above (excluding their home). Why are they important to nonprofits?
First, 98.2 percent of them gave to charity in 2009, compared to 65 percent of the general population. Second, they make up about half of all U.S. giving and two-thirds of all individual giving.
Where are they giving? Nearly 85 percent gave to basic needs charities, compared to 31 percent of the general population; 80 percent donated to education, compared to 14.7 percent of the general population; and 71.6 percent gave to the arts, compared to 7.8 percent of the general population.
Reinforcing the need to inform and educate donors, more than 72 percent give when they believe their gift will make a difference. Nearly two-thirds give to same nonprofits year after year, confirming the importance of good donor stewardship.
At next Tuesday’s National Philanthropy Day Luncheon, Dr. Patrick Rooney of the Center on Philanthropy will present more highlights from the study in his keynote. And because this data is crucial to fundraisers, we’ll have more on it as well in next week’s blog post.