A major part of the mission of the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham is leveraging donor giving to meet community needs. So it’s interesting to read the recent Study of High-Net-Worth Philanthropy, conducted by The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University for 2010, which looked into the charitable habits of high-net-worth philanthropic donors during the economic challenges of 2009.
- In hard times, the commitment to support charitable and religious institutions continued, though at a lower level. Average charitable giving per family dropped from $83,034 in 2007 to $54,016 in 2009 or 34.9 percent (adjusted for inflation).
- Important factors in making decisions to give were the belief that their gift will make a difference (72.4 percent), that their own families are financially secure (71.2 percent) and that the organization uses donations efficiently (71 percent).
- As community needs changed, high-net-worth families were more willing to give to support basic human needs and to fund general operations of the charitable organization.
- Volunteering remained stable, up 3.8 percent in terms of hours spent compared to 2007. And the more people volunteered, the more they gave.
All of this matches what we hear from the generous people of the Birmingham region. They always step up to help others, especially when times are hard. And they look carefully for ways to make the most of their charitable giving, whether by choosing a high-quality nonprofit organization that they already know well or by partnering with the Community Foundation to focus their giving in a new way.
Contact Erin Stephenson to find out more about how you can do the same. And, if you are professional advisor who works with high-net-worth clients, consider attending the session by Nathan Dungan on Oct. 6, sponsored by the Community Foundation.