USM Foundation

Fundraising Talks – October 2023

on October 5, 2023 by Micaela Cameron
Reflecting pool on campus

News and updates from the USM Office of Advancement Research

Letter from the Director

Welcome to October’s Fundraising Talks. Our everyday lives are often affected by various events around the world, which makes us even more grateful for every good thing that happens around us. Philanthropy enables us to assist those who are in need and make impactful investments in the community. From a recent report on affluents households, we learn that affluent people give for a variety of reasons, the primary reason being their belief in the mission of the organization they support. Religious organizations received the highest share (39.2 percent) of affluent dollars, while higher education (23.9 percent) and basic needs organizations (10.2 percent) followed. The percentage of dollars contributed to these causes indicates that affluent individuals are giving where needs are aligned with their personal hopes, beliefs, and values.

The 2023 Bank of America Study of Philanthropy: Charitable Giving by Affluent Households is a biennial report that is based on data collected from a survey developed by the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy in partnership with Bank of America. The survey population consisted of adults in the United States who are over 18 years of age and whose income was at least $200,000 or assets were at least $1 million (not including primary residence) in year 2022. The data from these affluent households revealed that 85 percent of these families gave to charity in 2022. The average dollar value of their gifts rose 19 percent above pre-pandemic levels. This is certainly encouraging information to learn, especially for fundraising professionals who are working with major gifts. Key findings in the report enable us to understand more about these affluent donors. They include the following:

1.    Affluent Americans continue to lead in charitable giving and gave $34,917 on average in 2022. 78 percent of affluent households focused on giving locally. 44 percent of those who did not give to charity in 2022 specified taking care of family needs as their priority.

2.    37 percent of affluent households volunteered in 2022. This is not back to pre-covid levels but is up significantly. People who volunteer are more likely to give to nonprofits than those who do not volunteer. The average gift amount by volunteers is approximately four times that of non-volunteers.

3.    Affluent donors use a robust toolkit of strategies to meet philanthropic goals. About 22 percent of affluent households used giving vehicles such as donor-advised funds, family foundations, or charitable remainder trusts. The most used giving vehicles are a will with specific charitable provisions (12 percent), a planned giving instrument (7 percent) and/or a qualified charitable distribution from an IRA (6 percent).

4.    85 percent of charitable giving decisions in affluent families are made by women. Affluent women also volunteer more than affluent men in 2022.

5.    Younger generations (millennials and Gen Z) in affluent households are enthusiastic about issues such as climate change.

Data and analysis on affluent households helps development professional identify key trends in giving and cultivate these donors by utilizing personalized strategies. The report confirms that affluent households continued to give strongly in year 2022 and will play a critical role in major gifts fundraising in the future. We hope you are getting ready for the holiday season and a successful year-end. As always, please feel free to reach out to us with questions, comments, or any assistance with fundraising research!

Best Regards,
Sapna and USM Advancement Research Team
Read more in this issue of Fundraising Talks>>

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