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Do Wealthy Americans Make Charitable Contributions?

 There are differences between investors and their charitable contributions based on wealth and age.  

| BY Kent McDill

 American charities would have difficulty existing without the contributions from wealthy Americans hoping to help others with their donations.

According to survey results revealed by Spectrem, wealthy investors make it a habit to contribute to charitable organization and some do so in a big way.

The Spectrem whitepaper Spending Choices Among Affluent Investors shows expenditures of investors from various wealth segments. The Ultra High Net Worth investor, with a net worth between $5 million and $25 million, has the highest amount of charitable contributions and is also most likely to make contributions, with only 6 percent claiming no charitable offerings in the past 12 months.

Almost half of UHNW investors gave at least $5,000 to charity in 2015, and 28 percent gave more than $10,000. Ten percent gave as much as $25,000, and 5 percent offered more than $50,000 to charity.

There was a definite difference in charitable contributions by UHNW investors based on age. Eighteen percent of UHNW investors under the age of 48 gave nothing to charity, and only 18 percent in that age group gave more than $10,000. Among UHNW investors over the age of 64, 31 percent gave at least $10,000.

Among Millionaire investors with a net worth between $1 million and $5 million, 9 percent gave zero dollars to charity, and 68 percent limited themselves to under $5,000.

An examination of the age grouping among Millionaires shows that Millionaires between the ages of 36-44 are least likely to contribute to charity, with 26 percent claiming zero dollars offered in 2015. That’s a far larger percentage than the 8 percnet of those under the age of 36, or the 13 percent among Millionaires between the ages of 45 and 54.

It makes sense that less wealthy investors would be less likely to make sizable contributions to charity, and the research backs that claim. Among Mass Affluent investors with a net worth between $100,000 and $1 million (not including their primary residence), 18 percent gave nothing to charity in 2015, and 67 percent gave no more than $5,000. Only 3 percent gave more than $10,000 to charity.

The Mass Affluent investors segmented by age against showed higher charitable contributions among older investors. While 31 percent of Mass Affluent investors under the age of 36 did not make any contributions in 2015, only 11 percent of those over the age of 64 gave nothing. Almost 20 percent of the oldest segment gave at least $5,000 to charity.

About the Author

Kent McDill

Kent McDill is a staff writer for Millionaire Corner. McDill spent 30 years as a sports writer, working for United Press International and the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Ill. From 1988-1999, he covered the Chicago Bulls for the Daily Herald, traveling with them every day through the nine-month season. He also covered the Bulls for UPI from 1985-88, and currently covers the team for He has written two books on the Bulls, including the new title “100 Things Bulls Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die’, published by Triumph Books. In August 2013, his new book “100 Things Bears Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die” gets published.

In 2008, he resigned from the Herald and became a freelance writer. The Herald hired him to write business features and speeches for the Daily Herald Business Conferences and Awards presentations.

McDill also writes a monthly parenting column for the Herald’s Suburban Parent magazine.

McDill is the father of four children, and an active fan of soccer, Jimmy  Buffett and all things Disney.