Charitable Giving by Affluent Households Above Pre-Pandemic Levels, Finds 2023 BofA Study of Philanthropy
CHARLOTTE, NC– Eighty-five percent of affluent households gave to charity in 2022 with the value of their average gifts rising 19% above pre-pandemic levels, according to the 2023 Bank of America Study of Philanthropy released today. The study found that affluent households gave an average of $34,917 to charity in 2022, up from $29,269 in 2017, though less than the $43,195 they gave in 2020 when giving levels peaked in response to needs created by the pandemic and an increased awareness of racial and social justice issues.
“This year’s study shows the generosity of the American people and the strong influence of women and Next Gen philanthropists who are using their wealth to promote positive change in the world,” said Katy Knox, President of Bank of America Private Bank.
The study, the ninth in the biennial series conducted by Bank of America Private Bank and the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI, found the percentage of affluent households giving to charity remained high, although 3% fewer households gave last year than in 2020. Of those who did not give to charity in 2022, 44% said it was because of the need to take care of family, up from 27% who said this five years ago, and a reflection of the challenges posed by 2022’s economic and market volatility.
“Observers have questioned how economic shocks and uncertainty will affect philanthropy in America, even among affluent donors,” said Una Osili, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Research and International Programs at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. “This ongoing body of research serves as an important barometer of giving trends and provides insights into the extent to which giving behaviors may be returning to their pre-pandemic trends, or whether we are on a new path.”
Other key findings of the study:
The 2023 Bank of America Study of Philanthropy: Charitable Giving by Affluent Households is the latest in a series of studies that have set the benchmark for research on the giving practices of affluent households in the United States.
All results presented in this report rely on data obtained from an original survey developed by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy (School) in partnership with Bank of America and fielded by Ipsos Public Affairs on behalf of the School. The survey was conducted on KnowledgePanel®, the largest online panel in the United States that relies on probability-based sampling methods for recruitment to provide a representative sampling frame for adults in the U.S. All data were collected between January 19, 2023, and February 13, 2023, and reflect giving activity during the 2022 calendar year.
The survey is based on a nationally representative random sample of 1,626 affluent individuals 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 (a standard in the financial industry as a benchmark for wealth, also referred to as ‘accredited investors’). The median income and wealth levels of the respondents exceeded the threshold for participation, at $300,000 and $2,000,000, respectively.
The Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI is dedicated to improving philanthropy to improve the world by training and empowering students and professionals to be innovators and leaders who create positive and lasting change. The school offers a comprehensive approach to philanthropy through its undergraduate, graduate, certificate and professional development programs, its research and international programs and through The Fund Raising School, Lake Institute on Faith & Giving, the Mays Family Institute on Diverse Philanthropy and the Women’s Philanthropy Institute. For more information, visit philanthropy.iupui.edu.
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Julia Ehrenfeld, Bank of America
Adriene Davis Kalugyer, Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy