Insights into philanthropy: Our latest global survey

Jeff Hoffmann
Posted by Jeff Hoffmann
Private Client Services

I always enjoy learning about habits and perspectives of philanthropists, and the annual BNP Paribas Philanthropy Index has some great insights.

Green field with a few large, white wind turbines on it - beneath cloudy sky.According to our most recent survey of philanthropic giving by individuals in Europe, the United States, the Middle East and Asia with at least $5 million in investable assets, there is a great sense of urgency and optimism for charitable giving. Some highlights:

  • 79% describe the worldwide need for philanthropic giving as “urgent” or “extremely urgent.”
  • Over 50% of respondents in the United States and Asia and 72% of those surveyed in the Middle East were are encouraged to increase their giving by their relative view on the current state of their wealth.
  • The majority of respondents of all regions state that current policies promoting giving urge them to increase giving.
  • Among the top causes for philanthropists worldwide are health, environment, and hunger — however the priorities differ within the regions surveyed. In the U.S., for example, health is the predominant cause, while in Europe, Asia and the Middle East, environment was of central importance.

Many other interesting insights from the study, conducted by Forbes Insight, are available in three documents that you can download. These are great resources for planning and fostering discussions — and excellent resources to share with anyone interested in philanthropy:

As wealth managers, we often assist individuals in defining and working towards their philanthropic goals, and we see the great variety of interests and motivations that shape personal plans for charitable giving. By understanding philanthropy from a global perspective, we are better able to contextualize client goals within a larger framework of philanthropic interests and efforts.

For example, the report provides scores across a range of metrics, including levels of giving, promotion and innovation, and also defines differences among beginning, intermediate and experienced philanthropists.

I found it interesting that the most experienced philanthropists — those with more than 10 years in philanthropy — “expected meaningful impact in more than 25 years.” By contrast, beginning philanthropists, with less than three years of experience, expected impact in less than five years. Looking at the same issue from a regional perspective; Middle Eastern philanthropists are the most patient — 55% willing to wait for more than 25 years. Philanthropists from Asia are the least patient, with just 11% willing to wait that long.

So, whether an individual is just starting to develop a charitable giving plan or is highly experienced in philanthropy, a global view can help shape a vision and inform strategies.

If you have questions about charitable giving or are looking to create effective strategies to work towards your goals, I invite you to talk with a Bank of the West financial professional. You’ll find more details at our site.


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