Philanthropy study optimistic about 2014 giving trends

Wealthy Wisconsin philanthropists will likely donate an average of $11,830 to nonprofits and charitable causes in the coming year, almost $3,000 more than the national average, according to a recent study released by BMO Private Bank.


The bank’s study, made public on Thursday in recognition of National Philanthropy Day, marks the third in a series of studies analyzing trends among Americans with investible assets of $1 million or more.

The study concluded:

*The state’s affluent residents have set aside six percent of their estates for charities in their wills.
*Twenty-eight percent of wealthy individuals are donating more to charity initiatives than they did prior to the recession five years ago.  Fifty-five percent are donating the same amount, and 18 percent are donating less.
*Ninety percent of Wisconsin’s wealthy residents intend to make charitable donations this year.
*Among the most popular causes behind giving are local community programs (50 percent), religious institutions (43 percent), health programs and disease research (38 percent), education (33 percent), and children’s charities (30 percent).

“Our previous study indicated that Wisconsin’s affluent have rebounded well from the recession and have returned to pre-recession levels of spending,” said Jason Stamm, regional president, Northern States, BMO Private Bank. “It’s gratifying to see that they have chosen to use a portion of their wealth to support their communities both now and into the future. Their philanthropic efforts serve as a model for all Americans.

On a national scope, the study concluded:

*Wealthy Americans plan on contributing an average of seven percent of their estates to charity in their wills.
*Ninety-four percent of high-net worth Americans plan to donate dollars to charity this year, with an average donation of $8,845.
*Nearly half of affluent Americans are donating more to charities than they did prior to the Great Recession in 2008. Forty-one percent are donating the same amount, and 11 percent are donating less.
*Popular causes behind giving include religious institutions (49 percent), health programs and disease research (46 percent), community programs (36 percent), children’s charities (31 percent), arts initiatives (28 percent), education programming (27 percent), and animal welfare (27 percent).

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