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Center on Wealth and Philanthropy
Wealth and the Commonwealth Newsletter Volume 13: February 2008

Contents

Center's Next Conference
Mark Your Calendar!
October 7-8, 2008

The Joys and Dilemmas of Wealth Study

The Geography and Giving Report

Does Gender Make a Difference in Volunteering?

Philanthropy Among the Unmarried


 

Center's Next Conference
Mark Your Calendar!
October 7-8, 2008

As a follow up to our successful conference in May of 2007 we are delighted to announce the upcoming conference on the campus of Boston College in October 2008. We are pleased to be co-hosting this conference with The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP).

The conference title is:
"The Supply and Demand of Philanthropy in the 21st Century: Strategies for Fundraising and Financial Professionals"

The conference is designed for wealth advisors, estate planners, directors of planned giving, advancement professionals, and CEOs with board members of non- profit organizations.

In response to your feedback, this year's conference has a more extensive time format to allow enough time to assimilate complex material and still leave ample opportunity to network with peers.

This conference will explore the new dynamics of philanthropy -including the meaning of philanthropy, charitable motivations, and supply-side changes across the spectrum of wealth. Please come and join us for two inspiring, stimulating and refreshing days on the Boston College campus in beautiful October.



Dear Colleagues:

I am pleased to send you the current issue of our newsletter, Wealth and the Commonwealth.

We have been very busy designing, preparing and launching "The Joys and Dilemmas of Wealth"- a new study funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Calibre - Wealth Management. The questionnaire aspect of the study started in late autumn and we continue to collect data. This study is an unparalleled look at the ways in which households of $25 million or more view their wealth and their philanthropy. It is not too late to participate and if you know of any individuals interested in participating please ask them to contact the Center. All of us here at the Center are very excited to see the results and share them with all of you in the months ahead.

Speaking of releasing results - we are happy to announce the findings of "Geography and Giving: The Culture of Philanthropy in New England and the Nation." John J. Havens' and my report, which was funded and released by the Boston Foundation, focuses on the ways in which people in our region engage in philanthropy as compared to the rest of the country. More details about some of the findings are included below. If you would like a similar study for your region, please call the Center on Wealth and Philanthropy at 617-552-4070 or e-mail Robert A. Kenny.

In addition, we have enclosed two short, interesting philanthropy articles. The first article targets gender and philanthropy while the second piece discusses philanthropy among unmarried individuals.

As always, I welcome your comments and feedback.

Cordially,
Paul Schervish
Center on Wealth and Philanthropy


  • The Joys and Dilemmas of Wealth Study
  • The Boston College Center on Wealth and Philanthropy has launched a groundbreaking study, The Joys and Dilemmas of Wealth, to explore the new cultural underpinnings of wealth for society. This is an unparalleled study - the first large-scale survey to focus exclusively on households with at least $25 million in net worth. The objective of the study is to uncover the attitudes, practices and personal philosophies of ultra high net worth households regarding wealth and philanthropy.

    The study is being partly underwritten by grants received from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Calibre, a division of Wachovia Wealth Management. Enthusiasm for the study is running high. Michael Deich, deputy director of public policy and external affairs at the Gates Foundation has declared, "We believe that the Center's survey will make an extraordinary contribution toward helping us understand what drives donors to give and what they need in order to give effectively." Robert Frank, noted author and columnist of the Wall Street Journal Wealth Report, has featured the study in his column and his blog "The Wealth Report"

    The Center on Wealth and Philanthropy will present the findings in nationally distributed reports. Professor Paul Schervish, Director of the Center, notes, this survey will ask behavioral and attitudinal questions about the little understood dilemmas, obstacles, opportunities, and spiritual understandings of wealth and will tender a rare insight into the financial and philanthropic counseling needs of ultra high net worth households.

    "This study is significant," said Schervish, "because its findings will provide a window into the cultural horizons of wealth and can directly help wealth holders use their resources as a tool for nobler purposes into the 21st century."

    It is not too late to contribute. If your organization is interested in participating in the study please call the Center on Wealth and Philanthropy at 617-552-4070 or e-mail Robert A. Kenny

    Please see "The Joys and Dilemmas of Wealth Study" for more information.

  • The Geography and Giving Report
  • Geography and Giving: The Culture of Philanthropy in New England and the Nation was enthusiastically received by the Boston community. Paul S. Grogan, President and CEO of The Boston Foundation, asserted, "Based on the superb research conducted at the Center on Wealth and Philanthropy at Boston College, led by Director Paul G. Schervish and Senior Associate Director John J. Havens, this report identifies and analyzes the mosaic of cultural, historical, demographic, and socio-economic factors that shape the giving patterns in greater Boston, Massachusetts and New England - adding dramatically to the understanding of our distinctive regional culture." The Boston Foundation, Grogan notes, published this report in order to provide important new knowledge, to stimulate a conversation about the practice and power of philanthropy, and to strengthen Greater Boston's nonprofit sector.

    In the report the authors show how the giving patterns described in the report are shaped by the region's unique blend of history, cultural forces and other demographics. The report unveiled a range of interesting findings to the philanthropic and non-profit community in Boston. For instance, Boston's most affluent population makes philanthropic gifts that are among the very largest in the country. In Massachusetts, the most affluent and wealthy households donate larger portions of their after tax income when expressed in terms of regional purchasing power than any other state in the nation except Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey. Residents of Massachusetts from lower and middle- income households, however, donate smaller portions of their after tax income again expressed in terms of regional purchasing power compared to the national average.

    Geography and Giving offers fresh insight into why donors in Massachusetts give and why they are prone to give more to secular than religious causes. The report reveals that although national giving is equally split between religious and secular, Bostonians in particular and New Englanders in general, give substantially less to religion and substantially more to secular causes, on average, than the rest of the country.*

    Educational attainment, especially beyond the bachelor's degree, has a high correlation with secular giving. Boston is known throughout the world as higher education's hometown. Boston and Massachusetts have a very large proportion of heads of households with doctorate and masters degrees. The city has a well educated populace and thus it has an expanded secular donor base. Occupation is also a strong indicator of levels of giving and heads of households working in professional and administrative occupations give more than do their counterparts in other occupations. Heads of households working in high technology (information, biomedical, pharmaceutical, etc.) as well as higher education, two fields central to the Boston and Massachusetts economy, are more likely to donate to charity, especially secular charity. The report speculates that working in professional occupations reinforces values and normative behavior that leads to high levels of secular giving.

    In their report Havens and Schervish point out that heads of households of two particular groups stand out in Boston and Massachusetts: African Americans and heads of households who have served in the military. African American households give the largest percentage of their after tax incomes, on average, to charity as compared with all other races in Massachusetts. Households whose head served in the military gave a greater percentage of their after tax income, in terms of regional purchasing power, to charity than those who had not served.

    Schervish and Havens point out patterns and insights into the specific conditions and history that give rise to New England's philanthropic signature. In order to compare Massachusetts to other states and Boston to other metropolitan areas, they have completed a substantial portion of the statistical research required to undertake studies similar for other states or other metropolitan areas. If you are interested in identifying and analyzing the cultural, historical, demographic, and socio-economic factors that shape the giving patterns in your region please call the Center on Wealth and Philanthropy at 617-552-4070 or e-mail Robert A. Kenny

    * In the report, the term "religious giving" is used to mean congregational giving - cash, goods, services or assets given directly to the house of worship. All other forms of giving are termed "secular giving" including a gift to a school, program or hospital run by a religious organization.

    Geography and Giving: The Culture of Philanthropy in New England and the Nation
  • Does Gender Make a Difference in Volunteering?
  • Based on the most Current Population Survey (September 2005), we see an emerging difference in the ways men and women volunteer in their communities. Did you know that women volunteer more frequently and to more types of non-profit causes than do men? But of the men who do volunteer, they volunteer more hours, on average, than women who volunteer? Nevertheless, women volunteer more aggregate hours than men -- there are more women than men and a greater proportion of women volunteer as compared with men.

    Without a doubt, in both religious and in secular organizations, women provide by far the majority of the volunteer hours.

    • Women provided 56 percent of the 8.236 billion annual hours volunteered to nonprofit organizations in 2005: 4.562 billion annual volunteer hours (equivalent to 2.5 million full time employees) -- 1.782 billion hours to religion (1.0 million full time employees) and 2.780 billion hours to secular causes (1.5 million full time equivalents).

    • Simultaneously, men provided a substantial 3.584 billion annual volunteer hours in 2005 (equivalent to 2.0 million full time employees) -- 1.363 billion hours to religion (749 thousand full time employees) and 2.221 billion annual hours to secular causes (1.251 million full time employees).

    Turning to the rate of participation, we find that overall a larger proportion of women volunteer to religious (14 percent) and to secular causes (23 percent) than do men (10 percent and 18 percent, respectively).

    However, when men do volunteer they contribute a larger number of hours (126 annual hours per volunteer to religious and 113 annual hours per volunteer to secular causes) than do female volunteers (111 annual hours to religious and 105 annual hours to secular causes).

    In summary, women volunteer more frequently than men both to religious and to secular causes. Males volunteer more time on average than do female volunteers. At older ages, both genders volunteer more hours per volunteer than their younger counterparts, but more people volunteer at younger ages than at older ages. The greater number of hours volunteered by men partly offsets the greater percentage of women that volunteer.

  • Philanthropy Among the Unmarried
  • Based on the 2004 Survey of Consumer Finances, the most recent survey of its kind, households headed by unmarried men (which includes separated, divorced, widowed and never married) donate, on average, an equal amount to charity as households headed by unmarried women. In 2003, this amounted to an average of $743 per household. However, there were 31 million households headed by unmarried women compared to only 17 million households headed by unmarried men. So total donations by unmarried females reached $23 billion in aggregate as compared with only $12 billion for unmarried men. Among the unmarried households, female-headed households earned an average of $30,000 in 2003 and owned an average of $167,000 in net worth while unmarried male households earned an average of $42,000 and owned an average of $305,000 in net worth. Thus among not married households, female heads gave the same average amount to charity as male heads although the females earned 71% of the income and owned 55% of the net worth of their male counterparts.

    Controlling for income, unmarried women give more to charity on average in every income category as compared to unmarried men. At the lower levels of income, the differences between the two unmarried genders were modest and became more dramatic at higher household income categories.

    • Households earning from $0 to $24,999: unmarried men donated an average of $244 to charity as compared with $256 for unmarried women in the same bracket.

    • Households earning $100,000 to $199,999: unmarried men donated an average of $2,920 as compared with $3,541 for unmarried women.

    • Households earning more than $200,000: unmarried men donated an average of $6,526 as compared with $28,171 for unmarried women.

    The pattern is similar for wealth; there is little gender difference in the average charitable donations for net worth below $100,000 but as net worth increased, the average donation by households headed by unmarried women increases substantially more than their male counterparts. Households headed by unmarried women with $5 million or more in wealth donated an average of $50,298 per household to charity as compared with $13,565 for households headed by unmarried men.

    In summary, affluent and wealthy women who are widowed, never married, separated or divorced give more to charity, on average, than similarly affluent and wealthy men who are widowed, never married, separated, or divorced. There are smaller percentages of affluent and wealthy unmarried women than there are percentages of affluent and wealthy unmarried men.

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