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Center Offers Service to Provide Regional and State Wealth Transfer Estimates

center on wealth and philanthropy

The Center on Wealth and Philanthropy is offering a new service to provide regional and state wealth transfer estimates. Wealth transfer estimates are projections of the amount of household wealth to be transferred at death. For several years we have focused on our national estimates. In the past six months we have developed the capability to provide these same estimates for states and large geographic regions. For each state or region we can now provide:

1. Wealth transfer estimates for the next 20 and 55 years, each under growth assumptions of 2%, 3%, and 4%; such estimates are broken down according to transfers to heirs, charity, taxes, and settlement costs.

2. Projections of inter-vivos (annual giving) for 20 and 55 years also at growth rates of 2%, 3%, and 4%.

3. An estimate of current level and distribution of wealth in the region. Currently, there is no data available on wealth levels and distribution except for the entire nation.

We use our Wealth Transfer Microsimulation Model to produce the wealth transfer estimates. The model combines data from the Census, Center for Vital Statistics, Federal Reserve, and the Internal Revenue Service.

A change in thinking and planning has occurred nationally as a result of our $41 trillion wealth transfer forecast. Bringing to your community a valid local wealth measure, a wealth transfer forecast, and projections of charitable giving can be a way to draw together charities, fundraising consultants, donors, foundations, financial institutions, and financial professionals into a collaborative effort to advance philanthropy. Obtaining and communicating this information offers sponsors a distinctive contribution and place of regard in their community. Philanthropy advocates can use the wealth transfer and charitable giving projections as a way to initiate or invigorate programs for charitable advancement. Banks and financial professionals should welcome and can help sponsor the estimation of current wealth as well as the wealth transfer projections.

Examples of this new service are our recent St. Louis Wealth Transfer Study sponsored by the St. Louis Metropolitan Association for Philanthropy; the Boston Area Wealth Transfer Study sponsored by the Boston Foundation; the African American Wealth Transfer Study sponsored by Twenty-First Century Foundation; the North Dakota Wealth Transfer Study sponsored by the Impact Foundation, and the Washington DC Metropolitan Area Wealth Transfer Study, sponsored by Chevy Chase Trust. For each study the Center produces a technical document that can be used by the sponsor to produce a published report for dissemination to the media and throughout the community.

If you or a coalition in your area are interested in sponsoring a study, we will develop a prospectus for the geographic area or areas you specify. In 2007 the cost of doing the research and writing the technical report is $15,000 per geographic area. For more information contact Paul Schervish, Director of the Center on Wealth and Philanthropy, at (617) 552-4070, or by email at