Giving back to their communities remains a priority for the vast majority of wealthy families because they believe philanthropy is the best means of effecting positive social change, but many are uncertain their gifts are having the impact they seek.
These are some of the important findings from the 2016 U.S. Trust® Study of High Net Worth Philanthropy, a biennial study of the philanthropic behaviors, attitudes and priorities of wealthy donors. Conducted in partnership with the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, the survey found that 91% of American high-net-worth households donated to charity in 2015, on average giving ten times more than the typical American household.
“Given their strong desire to make a difference, there is a significant disconnect between their philanthropic motivations and their philanthropic practices,” Costello says. “It is important that donors evaluate the effectiveness of their giving to help ensure they meet their philanthropic objectives.”
While every donor has different priorities, virtually all of them can increase the impact of their giving — and the satisfaction they derive from it — by taking the following actions:
- Establish goals and strategies that connect to their core values and areas of interest
- Conduct due diligence on potential gift recipients
- Evaluate the effectiveness of both the charitable organizations and their broader philanthropic effort
- Seek outside expertise if they have questions about the efficacy of their philanthropy.
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