What Factors Impact Charitable Giving of Wealthy Donors?

Study examines charitable practices and preferences of high net worth households

A study published by the Bank of America Private Bank has shed light on what motivates wealthy donors to give. The 2018 U.S. Trust® Study of High Net Worth Philanthropy examined themes that shaped wealthy donors’ giving in 2017.

One of the most significant findings is that wealthy donors do not give primarily to receive tax benefits. Instead, donors give for personal and altruistic reasons, including their belief in an organization’s mission, belief that their gift can make a difference, and personal satisfaction.

Also of note is that less than half of respondents had a strategy or budget in place for giving. Yet, those who do, often through donor-advised funds and trusts, tend to be more fulfilled from charitable activities and are likely to give more.

Additional findings include:

  • Donors’ greatest challenges are identifying causes they care about, deciding where to donate, and monitoring the impact of their giving.
  • Donors seek knowledge and advice on how to engage the next generation in giving.
  • Donors stopped giving because they received too many solicitations, felt organizations were ineffective, or were asked to give inappropriate amounts.
  • One in five households donated to women’s charities, many because they believe supporting women and girls is the most effective way to solve other social problems.

Contact lmack@cfncm.org to learn how the Community Foundation helps donors address these issues and more.


About the Community Foundation of North Central Massachusetts


The Foundation supports the community by giving grants and distributions in the areas of health and human services, education, environment, animal welfare and arts and culture.  We are a non-profit organization, dedicated to helping donors establish permanent endowment funds – benefiting the community forever and creating a lasting legacy for fund holders.

P.S. Please be sure to visit our website, and like our facebook page


Community Foundation of North Central Massachusetts

Helping donors do good work… FOREVER


649 John Fitch Hwy
Fitchburg, MA 01420


Phone: 978-345-8383
Fax: 978-345-1459
Contact Us

Sign Up for E-News