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U.S. Trust Study Finds Increase in Charitable Giving Among the Wealthy

November 26, 2014

The average amount given to charity in 2013 by affluent donors increased 28 percent, according to a recent study from U.S. Trust.

Findings from the U.S. Trust Study of High Net Worth Philanthropy also show that the education sector received the largest number of donations.  Specifically:

  • 85 percent of wealthy donors gave to education last year, with a closer examination showing 73 percent giving to higher education and 60 percent giving to K-12 education.
  • 27 percent of wealthy households gave their largest gifts to educational causes, including 19 percent to higher education.
  • Education ranked as the charitable subsector supported by the largest percentage of high net worth households.

Other key findings:

  • 98 percent of high net worth households gave to charity in 2013, compared to 95 percent in 2011.
  • 74 percent of wealthy donors believe their gift will make a difference. 
  • 35 percent of wealthy donors plan to increase their giving in the next three to five years.

The Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy conducted the biennial survey.  Results are based on a nationwide sample of 632 U.S. households with a net worth of at least $1 million and/or an annual household income of $200,000 or more.


Bill Dillon
Executive Vice President