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UBS: Most U.S. Millionaires Give To Charity, But Few Plan Spending

American millionaires are no scrooges, as 91% give to charity every year and typically donate 7% of their annual incomes, according to a new survey by UBS Wealth Management.

The survey studied the philanthropy of more than 2,200 high-net-worth individuals and found that 36% of wealthy Americans have upped their donations in the past decade while only 9% have cut back on giving.

The study found that American millionaires don’t shy away from cutting large donation checks either. Roughly a quarter have given at least $100,000 in their lifetimes, while three-quarters have given at least $25,000. Additionally, just over half of the surveyed millionaires said they would leave a portion of their wealth to charity as a legacy.

There is an opportunity for wealth management firms to serve these philanthropic efforts of such wealthy Americans, UBS notes, as 20% of the surveyed millionaires considered their giving to be effective although there was scant attempt to structure their charity. Indeed, 23% said they determined their giving based on solicitations alone as they received them, and only 9% said they actively planned their charity.

Other findings from the study:

  • Generational changes among the wealthiest are also playing out in their philanthropy. Baby boomers and the elderly concentrated their charity towards traditional recipients, such as colleges and religious groups. But the new generation of wealthy select charities that support practical causes, such as disease eradication.
  • Younger millionaires are more likely to perceive themselves as philanthropists and consider charity as a personal goal. They are more open to giving to new organizations, it adds, and dictate purchases and career choices according to personal values.
  • Gender differences also became apparent, UBS noted, as women consider charity more important to them than men, and are more likely to volunteer time towards efforts they support.

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