The results of a recent study conducted by U.S. Trust, a subsidiary of Bank of America, were published by “The Chronicle of Philanthropy.” Although the study focused on wealthy Americans, I found the results to be encouraging, relevant and worthy of sharing with you, my brothers and sisters in Christ as we approach this special season of giving.
At least half of those surveyed stated giving money to good causes was “the most satisfying part of life.” In fact, giving money away ranked highest among a majority of the participants than the possessions and lifestyle that come from their wealth. One unexpected finding was 70% of those between the ages of 18 and 32 cited philanthropy as the best part of having wealth. Only 35% of those over age 68 felt that way.
Not surprising was the fact that 76% said supporting charities had a positive influence on society and 80% said the same thing about volunteering.
The number 1 reason for giving cited by the participants was “creating a positive impact on issues or causes while still alive.” Having a positive impact and changing peoples’ lives has always been the number 1 reason for giving in all of the studies.
Another important reason for giving, according to the study, was “setting an example for family members.” More than half the participants listed that as a top reason for giving. This study also confirmed what other studies over the years have shown, namely, tax considerations are very low on the list of reasons people give. That, too, was an encouraging finding and consistent with biblical stewardship truths.
And, the finding I found most compelling was more than a third said they learned charitable values from their parents and other family members. So, parents, what kind of example are you being to your children, whether minor or adult children, in conveying Christian values and principles in your giving?
To the extent we in the KBF can be of assistance in applying those values and principles and setting the example in your estate plan, please give us that privilege.
The information in this article is provided as general information and is not intended as legal or tax advice. For advice and assistance in specific cases, you should seek the advice of an attorney or other professional adviser.