Business Owners Give Abundantly and Altruistically
17 July 2008 at 11:32 am
A survey by US banking organisation SunTrust reveals that high net worth business owners are attracted to philanthropies that ignite their passion and demonstrate good stewardship.
For business owners, personal passion — not personal reward — drives philanthropic involvement, according to the SunTrust Bank Private Wealth Management survey.
The national study surveyed over 200 high net worth business owners, whose companies have at least $US10 million in annual revenue, about their philanthropic involvement and motivation.
Business owners cite "helps make a positive change" as the top reason for charitable giving. Nearly three-fourths of respondents say satisfying their personal moral beliefs drives their philanthropic impulses.
And fewer than half say they give to receive tax credits; to bring positive attention to their business; to network; to establish a legacy; or to gain recognition.
Dave Johnston, Senior Vice President, SunTrust Private Wealth Management says the survey shows that when it comes to philanthropy, business owners are genuinely concerned about affecting change.
Virtually all the business owners surveyed have made a charitable donation personally (96%) and through their business (79%). On average, in 2007 they report having donated over a quarter of a million dollars to charitable causes through their businesses and $78,000 personally or as families.
– Seven in 10 agree that "even if there is an economic downturn that moderately affects my business, I plan to keep my current level of Not for Profit or charitable giving in the coming year."
– They are "charity multipliers," in that more than half encourage employees to donate time and/or money to company charities. And one in three says they will match donations made by employees.
– Their generosity extends beyond simply giving money. Business owners are a critical component of the Not for Profit world as members of NFP boards. About half (47%) of respondents sit on the board of a philanthropic organization, particularly those that focus on
– religious concerns (21%),
– arts/culture (18%),
– children’s needs (18%),
– healthcare issues (17%).
Johnston says business owners are extending their generosity beyond donations and board or event involvement with many recognising the importance of planning for the future by incorporating philanthropy into their financial plans with the inclusion of charities in their wills, engaging in planned giving and establishing family foundations.
In fact, over one-third (36%) have incorporated philanthropic giving into their financial plan. Among them, a number have written NFP organisations into their will (53%), set up planned giving (45%), and established a private or family foundation (44%).
When business owners provide financial or in-kind support, they often expect to see good stewardship and results. Nearly half (48%) say they "have regretted making NFP or charitable contributions to certain organisations that did not spend my money wisely."
An equal number of business owners say they have withheld money from an organisation because of concern "the funds would not have been used wisely."
SunTrust conducted the survey with GfK Roper Public Affairs.