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Bank of America High Net Worth Philanthropy Study

2012 Bank of America Study of High Net Worth Philanthropy
Bank of America High Net Worth Philanthropy Study

The 2012 Bank of America Study of High Net Worth Philanthropy examines the giving patterns and priorities of America’s wealthiest households, and was once again written and researched in partnership with the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University. Building upon earlier studies completed in 2010, 2008 and 2006, the latest in this series offers a deeper understanding of giving trends, strategies and traditions among wealthy donors. Results are based on a nationwide sample of 700 U.S. households with a net worth of $1 million or more (excluding the value of their home) and/or an annual household income of $200,000 or more.

Since 2006, this has become the largest and one of the longest running studies of its kind, offering key insights that help to inform nonprofit organizations’ donor engagement strategies. To put the importance of giving by wealthy donors into context, of the nearly $300 billion donated last year more than 70 percent was given by individuals, of which roughly half was given by the wealthiest 3 percent of American households.

Key findings from the 2012 study reveal significant shifts as well as consistent trends in the attitudes and giving priorities of the wealthy, including the nonprofit sectors they support, how they direct their largest gifts, what motivates them to give, why they stop giving, and their family and holiday giving traditions. The study also examines new areas of inquiry, including the rate at which wealthy donors contribute to political causes as well as the level of fulfillment and satisfaction they derive from their charitable activities.

Summary of Key Findings 

News Releases and Additional Information

Press Releases

  • Oct. 29, 2012 — 2012 Bank of America Study of High Net Worth Philanthropy Finds Donors Firmly Committed to and Highly Engaged With Nonprofits
  • Dec. 12, 2011 — 2011 Bank of America Merrill Lynch Study of High Net Worth Women’s Philanthropy Reveals Differences and Similarities in the Charitable Giving Behaviors of Women and Men
  • Nov. 9, 2010 — Bank of America Merrill Lynch Announces Findings From the 2010 Study of High Net Worth Philanthropy
  • Nov. 24, 2008 — Bank of America Announces Initial Findings of 2008 Study of High Net Worth Philanthropy
  • Oct. 26, 2006 — Bank of America Announces Initial Findings of Landmark Philanthropy Study

Studies

Institutional Investments and Philanthropic Solutions

U.S. Trust's Institutional Investments and Philanthropic Solutions (II&PS) business is a specialized practice within the Global Wealth and Investment Management (GWIM) division. The practice serves more than 22,000 nonprofit organizations, philanthropic families and individuals through the objective delivery of integrated institutional investment, philanthropic and advisory solutions.

Executive Biographies

For More Information

For more information about this study, please contact Matt Card, Bank of America, 1.617.434.1388.