The Pentera Blog

18 Percent of Wealthy Have Established a Planned Gift, Says New High-Net-Worth Study

Eighteen percent of high-net-worth households have established a planned gift, with another 7 percent planning to do so, according to a just-released study of high-net-worth philanthropy. In addition, a significant number of high-net-worth households are interested in knowledge about charitable giving that could be provided by planned giving professionals.

The 2018 U.S. Trust Study of High Net Worth Philanthropy was released last fall. It is the latest in a series of studies published every two years since 2006, all researched by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. The 2018 study - which surveyed 1,646 U.S. households with a net worth of $1 million or more (excluding the value of their primary home) and/or an annual household income of $200,000 or more - mostly focuses on current charitable gifts made in 2017. But the study has a section on giving vehicles, including planned gifts, and another section on philanthropic knowledge.

More wealthy are using gift vehicles

The study found an increase of 3 percent from the 2016 study in the use of gift vehicles by the wealthy. Thirteen percent of high-net-worth households have a will with a charitable provision, and 5 percent have established some other kind of planned giving instrument. An additional 5 percent plan to make a bequest, while an additional 2 percent plan to establish some other kind of planned gift.

Giving Vehicles Used by the Wealthy
Source: 2018 U.S. Trust Study of High Net Worth Philanthropy

As one might expect, planned giving by the wealthy is much more prevalent than planned giving by the general population (as reported in other research). But all the gift vehicles combined in the high-net-worth study represented just 14 percent of the philanthropic dollars given in 2017 by the high-net-worth households.

Wealthy seek more philanthropic knowledge

The study asked the high-net-worth households what aspects of charitable giving they want to know more about. The top answer was help in "identifying the right volunteer opportunity" (38%). Several of the answers were about giving knowledge that planned giving professionals could help with, including:

  • Integrating personal values and charitable goals into a wealth management plan (21%)
  • Developing a strategic giving plan and mission (15%)
  • Understanding more about giving vehicles (13%)

Gifts are up; women give more

The study found an overall 15 percent increase in giving by high-net-worth households in 2017 compared with two years earlier. The study also confirmed previous studies (and other research) that high-net-worth women are more likely to give to charity and are also more likely to volunteer.

An article summarizing the entire study, including links to the full report, can be found here.