Philanthropy Insights: How Affluent Individuals Gave in 2020
A 2021 Bank of America study found affluent households across America typically concentrated their philanthropy and giving locally. Nine in ten (90%) affluent households that increased their giving for basic needs in 2020 directed their gifts to organizations in their own communities. Fewer (35%) gave to support national organizations in the United States based outside of their community, and only 15% gave to international based organizations.
During 2020, nearly 90% of affluent households gave to charitable organizations. Almost half of affluent households (47%) donated to charitable organizations or financially supported individuals or businesses in direct response to the pandemic, through monetary contributions or in-kind donations.
The below chart from the survey demonstrates the ways in which affluent Americans gave to various charitable causes in response to the pandemic.
Volunteering is another expression of individuals’ generosity. Despite challenges brought on by the pandemic, 30% of affluent households volunteered in 2020. Among those who volunteered, 71% reported that they maintained (48%) or increased (23%) their volunteer activities in response to the pandemic.
The Bank of America study is based on a survey of 1,626 U.S. households with a net worth of $1 million or more and/or an annual household income of $200,000 or more.
When asked about their future giving intentions, 74% of affluent households reported that they do not expect their philanthropic behavior will change in the future as a result of the pandemic. Meanwhile, 20% of respondents anticipate that their charitable giving will be more directed to specific issues, and 5% expect their philanthropic behavior to be less restrictive in the future.
As nonprofits begin planning how they will adapt to the aftermath of the pandemic, affluent donors expect to continue providing financial resources, leadership, encouragement, and advice in their communities for the causes they support and love.
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