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for insights about characteristics and behavior of the wealthy

There is a continually evolving body of research, analysis, and feature articles about major donors. This is a list of some of the noteworthy sources of information beginning with the most recently published, many of which are available online at no cost. Please contact us to suggest additional sources. Also, please alert us if some of the website links become obsolete.

December 2010
Women Give 2010 Part 2: Causes Women Support, Women's Philanthropy Institute at the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University

This second report is a follow-up to the October 2010 report. Using the same data set, it examines differences in giving between men and women by charitable sector.

November 2010
Global Giving: The Culture of Philanthropy, Barclays Wealth Insights

This study of 2,000 millionaires around the globe reports that nearly a quarter of high net worth individuals say that charity is a top priority. 44% of them plan to make charity a spending priority when they retire and increase the amount of time they allocate to charity by 194%.

November 2010
The Age Illusion: How the Wealthy are Redefining Their Retirement, Barclays Wealth Insights

This report of a survey of more than 2,000 high net worth individuals considers what retirement means. Even those who are financially able to maintain a luxurious lifestyle often are choosing not to retire.

November 2010
The 2010 Study of High Net Worth Philanthropy, The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University

This study offers new information about how high net worth donors involve others in their giving and make decisions within their families as well as how they approach investment risk with their personal and philanthropic assets.

November 2010
Entrepreneurs & Philanthropy: Investing in the Future, Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund

Results of an online survey of 146 entrepreneurs who are members of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award Winners Network. The median company revenue of respondents is $100 million with a median of 3% of profits donated to charity.

October 2010
Women Give 2010: New Research about Women and Giving, Women's Philanthropy Institute at the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University

The report establishes that single women in nearly all income categories and "single" status give more than similar single men.

July 2010
Business Owners, Financial Risk, and Wealth, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

Business owners comprise 43% of households in the 90th to 100th wealth percentile range. This study examines their attitudes and behaviors toward financial risk and concludes that they are generally conservative when it comes to saving and spending.

June 2010
World Wealth Report 2010, Capgemini and Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management

This analysis concludes that there is an increasing trend toward more "giving while living" resulting in philanthropists incorporating giving strategies into ongoing wealth accumulation and capital preservation planning.

May 2010
Money for Good: The US Market for Impact Investments and Charitable Gifts from Individual Donors and Investors, Hope Consulting
Half of survey respondents represent households with annual incomes greater than $300,000. Findings describe six types of donors with different primary reasons for giving.

April 2010
Barriers to Giving, Barclays Wealth Insights

While 97% of the wealthy give, only a third give more than 1% of their net worth. The greatest barrier is perceived lack of financial security.

March 2010
High-Income Tax Returns for 2007, Internal Revenue Service

This article reviews individual tax returns reporting income of $200,000 and more from 1977 through 2007 including deductions for charitable contributions.

The New Elite: Inside the Minds of the Truly Wealthy, American Management Association by Jim Taylor, Doug Harrison, and Stephen Kraus
This book based on conversations with 6,000 wealthy individuals describes five typologies and their attitudes toward earning, spending, and giving with an interesting section on philanthropy.

November 2009
Philanthropy: The Evolution of Giving, Barclays Wealth Insights

Ledbury Research identifies and profiles six typologies of donors: privileged youth, eco givers, altruistic entrepreneurs, reactive donors, cultured inheritors, and professional philanthropists.

October 2009
Understanding Donors' Motivations, The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University

This paper on self-reported motivations for giving concludes that, controlling for various factors, only income and education were statistically significant predictors of motivation.

July 2009
Tomorrow's Philanthropist, Barclays Wealth Insights

This report by Ledbury Research examines how the changing attitudes of high net worth donors (invested assets over $1 million) will alter the future of charitable giving.

March 2009
The 2008 Bank of America Study of High Net Worth Philanthropy, The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University

This new study following the initial 2006 survey includes an analysis of how high net worth giving changed over time from 2005 to 2007. New information includes what donors hope to achieve through their major gifts, the role of financial advisors, and the utilization of charitable giving vehicles.

February 2009
Changes in U.S. Family Finances from 2004 to 2007: Evidence from the Survey of Consumer Finances, Federal Reserve Board

Data on high income and high net worth families including savings, financial assets, other assets such as residences and business equity, and debt.

September 2008
"I'm Not Rockefeller:" 33 High Net Worth Philanthropists Discuss Their Approach to Giving, The Center for High Impact Philanthropy

The report describes findings regarding how high net worth philanthropists make their gift choices and the limitations they confront.

January 2008
Wealth in America 2008: Findings from a Survey of Millionaire Households, Northern Trust

This study includes sections on philanthropy and estate planning with data segmented for pentamillionaires and decamillionaires and by generations.

December 2007
Bank of America Study of High Net-Worth Philanthropy: Portraits of Donors, The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University

This study explores the philanthropic patterns of high net-worth households by looking for statistical differences in the way certain groups of individuals donate relative to other high net-worth households.

July 2007
Patterns of Household Charitable Giving by Income Group, 2005, The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University

This paper utilizes the data from the Bank of America Study of High Net Worth Philanthropy and the Center on Philanthropy Panel Study to estimate charitable giving by households that is focused on the needs of the poor. It also estimates giving to other types of charitable organizations.

May 2007
Wealth and Values Inheritance Highlights, PNC

Nearly half of respondents in all age groups consider it important to build wealth that can be transferred to future generations. Only 17% indicated that it is important to donate wealth to charity.

April 2007
U.S. Trust Survey of Affluent Americans, United States Trust Company
A section on philanthropy has useful information about the use of charitable vehicles, reasons for donations, and factors that would increase their giving.

February 2007
Growing up Wealthy Highlights, PNC

This survey found that 90% of wealthy parents believe it is important for children to learn the value of giving while 57% of teens report that their parents have taught them this value. Only 5% of teens indicated that they give some of their own money to charity.

January 2007
Wealth in America 2007: Findings from a Survey of Millionaire Households, Northern Trust

This survey reveals that high net worth households have concerns about the rising cost of health care and family health in retirement despite having liquid wealth in excess of $3 million on average.

October 2006
Bank of America Study of High Net-Worth Philanthropy, The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University

This survey of households with annual incomes greater than $200,000 or assets in excess of $1 million aims at understanding their charitable practices and motivations.

March 2005
Major Donors, Major Motives: The People and Purposes Behind Major Gifts, New Directions for Philanthropic Fundraising, No. 47

This article by Paul Schervish may be purchased online. His research reveals that the wealthy invariably want to shape a cause rather than merely support it.

Millionaire Women Next Door, Andrews McMeel Publishing by Thomas J. Stanley
This book presents new information and analysis regarding the personalities, lifestyles motives, beliefs, and spending habits of successful businesswomen and includes a chapter on giving.

January 2002
CPB Charitable Giving Survey Final Report, Citigroup Private Bank

The survey of high net worth clients provides information such as factors that impact charitable giving, percentage of income contributed, motivations for giving, and family involvement.

The Millionaire Mind, Andrews McMeel Publishing by Thomas Stanley
This follow-up to his previous book is based on an additional 1,300 interviews and provides a more in-depth look at the makeup and habits of high net worth individuals. Discipline and tenacity are the key attributes.

June 2001
What is "NEW" About New Philanthropy? A Summary of a Forum on Philanthropy, Public Policy, and the Economy, The Center on Philanthropy and Public Policy

The views expressed posit that new attitudes toward the accumulation and disposition of wealth have created possibilities that challenge the prevailing norms of philanthropy.

March 2001
Extended Report of the Wealth with Responsibility Study, Social Welfare Research Institute at Boston College

Paul Schervish and John Havens elaborate on a study for Bankers Trust Private Banking of Deutsche Bank, which surveyed households with net worth of $5 million or more. Interestingly, a median of $20 million was the amount given by respondents as the sum needed for financial security or 67% more than their current worth. The study includes analysis of charitable contributions and motivations.

January 2000
The Modern Medici: Patterns, Motivations, and Giving Strategies of the Wealthy, The Center on Philanthropy and Public Policy

Paul Schervish addresses three aspects of the relationship between wealth and philanthropy: the exponential growth in wealth, motivations that incline the wealthy to contribute, and the strategies they employ.

The Millionaire Next Door, Taylor Trade Publishing by William Danko and Thomas Stanley
This book was the first of its kind to interview high net worth individuals and peel away stereotypes. It describes the key characteristics of the typical millionaire and those principles that guide them.