Recently, U.S. Trust and Bank of America published findings from a survey of 2,200 of its wealthiest clients (at least $1 million in assets). Here’s what they learned about wealthy donors and their giving habits:
- 90% of survey participants donate to charity, but only 20% of these respondents consider their giving to be “effective.”
- 52% plan to leave a significant portion of their estate to charity.
- One third have increased their giving over the last decade.
- 85% said they ”have more money to give to charity this year.”
- Issues that matter most to survey respondents: education (56%) and poverty (34%).
- 70% have a budget for charitable giving.
- 75% volunteered at a charity last year. 50% volunteered after being asked. Only 18% volunteered on their own.
- Top reasons wealthy donors stop giving: Solicited too frequently (41%), Organization judged to be ineffective (18%), Organization’s leadership changed (16%)
There are several clear lessons from the survey results:
- Your organization must emphasize it’s effectiveness to retain donors. Show outcomes and provide regular reports to donors.
- You organization should have a plan in place to begin speaking to your wealthiest supporters about their estate plans.
- Wealthier donors have more money to give and are planning to give more this year. Be bold in your gift requests.
- If your organization has an “education” component, emphasize it with your wealthier donors.
- Ask your wealthier donors to consider volunteering with your organization to draw them closer to your mission.
- Watch how frequently you solicit your donor base. Most donors prefer to be approached once a year.
Learn from this survey and refine your approach for more effective donor cultivation and stewardship.