A new study recently released by U.S. Trust and the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University has revealed a number of insights into the motivations and giving behaviors of high net worth donors (those with a net worth over $1 million). While we encourage you to check out the study in its entirety here, we have highlighted a few important takeaways.
Focus on High Capacity Donors
Perhaps least surprising, high net worth donors are more likely to donate (91 percent compared to 59 percent of those who fall below high net worth threshold), and give at much higher levels ($25,509 versus $2,520). We all have to prioritize, and this just emphasizes that focusing on building relationships with these donors is still the most efficient use of your time and resources.
High Net Worth Donors Give to Many Charities
It’s often easy to assume you shouldn’t approach certain donors because you know they have a commitment to another organization. But this shouldn’t deter you from attempting to build a relationship. Over 50 percent of high capacity donors give to five or more charities. Whenever possible, gauge the donors’ interest by reaching out and engaging him or her, instead of making an assumption.
Unrestricted Gifts are Preferred
Another assumption we often make is that high capacity donors want to give restricted gifts, even though an organization’s preference is often unrestricted dollars. That assumption doesn’t necessarily hold true, however. Just over 50 percent had no preference between restricted or unrestricted gifts, and more actually preferred making unrestricted (29 percent) to restricted gifts (21 percent). If you can build donor confidence in your organization and leadership, they will trust you to use their donation in the most effective manner.
Volunteering Effectively Engages Donors, with a Caveat
Similar to giving, high net worth individuals also volunteer at a higher rate (50 percent versus 25 percent). Within the high net worth group, those who volunteer also give about 55 percent more than those who don’t. So more volunteers means more and larger gifts, right? Potentially. Of those surveyed, just over half said they would give where their gift has the largest impact, regardless of whether they volunteered for that organization or not. So if you’re lucky enough to have a group of engaged volunteers, make sure you are demonstrating the impact their work is having.
Shocking Statistic: If you’re still looking for more statistics at this point, we applaud you! One more tidbit from the study: The No. 1 reason (41 percent of those surveyed) high net worth donors quit giving to an organization is because they received too many requests from the organization, or the requests were too close to each other.
AMPERAGE Fundraising Advisers is a full-service fundraising company whose mission is to move the needle for our clients. For more information on Amperage Fundraising Advisers or to make a recommendation for a future blog post, contact us today!