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How much do millionaires give?

By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com
Monday, November 5, 2012
Posted: 6 am ET

The country's wealthy individuals continue to outpace the general population when it comes to giving to charity, according to a survey by Bank of America and the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University.

Of those surveyed, 95 percent of the wealthy gave to charity in 2011, compared with 65 percent of the general population.

The average amount each wealthy household donated to charity in 2011 was $52,770 -- 7 percent less than in the two years prior. But more of the respondents volunteered time and talent. Last year, 89 percent of them volunteered, a 10 percent increase from 2009.

The survey is based on a sample of 700 households with a net worth of $1 million or more (not including the value of a home) or an annual income of $200,000 or more.

As a percentage of household income, the wealthy are just short of tithing, giving 9 percent to charity. Most of the donations went to education, religious organizations and giving vehicles such as foundations.

The survey also found that the more wealthy individuals volunteered time, the more money they gave. In 2011, those who volunteered more than 100 hours to charity gave in excess of $78,000, on average. That's nearly twice the amount donated by those who volunteered fewer than 100 hours. They gave an average of $39,000.

"During the past decade, we have seen donors become increasingly impact driven and strategic in their charitable activities," Una Osili, director of research for the Center on Philanthropy, wrote in the survey results. "They are more focused, more engaged through volunteerism, and their commitment is strongest when they are personally involved with the nonprofits to which they give."

Do you think the wealthy are giving enough?

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November 10, 2012 at 2:43 am

Why is it millionaire's responsiblity to take care of the poor but the poor share no equal responsibilty for the well being of millionaires?

November 08, 2012 at 12:17 pm

G, you have absolutely no idea what most millionaires spend their money on. Perhaps they've considered charities you associate with and have simply decided that (a) the work isn't justified, (b) too much money goes to admin and salaries for do-nothings on the "board", or (c) they disagree with the specific mission of the charity. We are still a free country and there is no shortage of information regarding charities for those of us who give freely.

How dare you criticize individuals for saving money for retirement and taking - gasp! - vacations? We earned it! The do-nothings most typically helped by life-style charities (as opposed to disaster charities such as for Sandy, etc.) have never worked an honest day in their lives. They live on handouts, cry sob stories, and expect someone else to take care of them. I *earned* both the money and the time to take my short vacations each year, and by God, I'm going to take them. I won't feel guilty. I spent 22 years in school and over $250,000 to get to my excellent job, and NO ONE will make me feel guilty for enjoying the little down time I get.

November 08, 2012 at 12:12 pm

ml: I can't help but wonder how disabled you are that you have time to post inane and self-absorbed comments on a website (presumably more than once)? You can clearly type - though not well - so how about I give you some work that only involves typing? There are plenty of small businesses like mine which would benefit from part-time work, but, funnily enough, every time we make that offer to so-called "disabled" individuals, we are always given an excuse that often doesn't even apply to the work we're offering. Why might that be?

True disability, which prevents one from doing *any* worthwhile work, is extremely rare and easily justified by simply looking at a person. The government has conveniently concocted false definitions of disability that allow people to decide they can no longer do the job they used to do, so they must not be able to work at all. That's really helpful to society, isn't it?

President Kennedy once invited us to this introspection: "Ask not what your country can do for you, ..." ML, I ask you, when will you stop asking this?

November 08, 2012 at 12:08 pm

The hated "rich" already support the nation, providing the vast majority of funds used to run it on a daily basis, at the federal and local levels.

The big difference between the rich and the poor is that the rich nearly always give more than they take. My $40,000-plus income tax bill each year exceeds my direct "take" from government by nearly 100%, if one assumes my gas taxes on a highly efficient vehicle cover my minimal road use. The only difference between me and most Americans who call themselves poor is that I am highly intelligent, work hard, and don't ever want someone else to fund my life.

November 05, 2012 at 4:06 pm

the rich are all about the rich, so what they give some to charity, I'm disabled, don't get much to live on, but I bet I give to more charities then they do. I do it because I care and love people, the rich could care less, I know I worked for many!!! I could say more but lets just drop it, cause my blood presure will explode and I don't even have high BP. Like they say the rich keep getting richer and the poor keep getting poorer.If I ever and pray real soon I get rich, I'll show you what it means to really give!!!!!!!!!!!!!

G Boston
November 05, 2012 at 3:00 pm

The numbers are in many ways upsetting to hear. I could (as a minister working with the poorest of the poor) have a great impact on what I am doing in the community as well as this city if I could get more support from the people who have extra. I am not saying that it is their responsibilty to get their money to me, but if they would be willing to help with some of the needs on this nation we would all be better off. Even during this very difficult struggling times,some of us have alot more than we need (after IRS,SAVINGS,VACATIONS, etc..). I would love to set down with a millionare and offer them the opportunity to do more with the extra dollars they have.

November 05, 2012 at 2:43 pm

Of course they do.
They're just not paying their "fayer shayer" to everyone else with their hand out.