People of wealth still want to give, despite the economy, according to results reported recently in PNC Wealth Management’s sixth annual Wealth and Values survey. The survey sought opinions from a crosssection of 1,046 Americans who have at least $500,000 in investable assets.
Results in 2006 and 2007 showed 54 percent agreed with the statement “I have an obligation to give back financially to my community.” That figure was 58 percent in 2008 and 55 percent in 2009, despite worsening economic conditions.
What some are calling the Great Recession has generated concerns, however, with a reported 28 percent saying they either already have or plan to cut back on their total giving. Among those defined as ultra wealthy ($5 million or more in investable assets), 24 percent are concerned with their ability to give to charities, compared to 16 percent of those with $500,000 to $1 million in assets.
A representative of PNC Wealth Management speculates that these donors will be looking for ways to increase their impact on what matters most to them. We have certainly seen that trend at work for several years at the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham, and not just because of the economy. Increasing needs bring even more focus on impact, as generous people at all income levels try to give whatever they can to make life better for others.