‘Savvy’ donors combine practical motivations and idealism, research suggests
Donors are more likely to identify practical and personal motivations for philanthropy, but prioritise idealistic and altruistic considerations, a report published in September by philanthropy advisors Adessy Assocites suggests.
Constructive Capitalism for Goodness Sake found that creating a lasting legacy (12%), social networking (14%) and tax benefits (15%), along with religious reasons (15%), were the most common reasons that people were motivated to give. But, in contrast, when asked to rank in order of preference their motivations for giving, respondents' top three responses were: to solve specific global issues; better society as a whole, and effect ‘social change’ and solve large scale problems.
Leesa Muirhead, executive director of Adessy Associates, told Philanthropy UK: “The difference is curious but it's human nature. HNW individuals are savvy people and want to approach giving in the same way they approach wealth creation. Idealism can also be a prime motivator."
Based on a survey of 85 respondents, the report also looked at what would make people give more to charity. The top answer, given by 20% of respondents, was tax incentives. However, when asked to rank what would prompt them to start giving more in order of preference, 62% of respondents said that understanding the positive impact of their giving was the single most important driver.
The report also found that over 62% of respondents said that if their donations were treated as investments, for example by providing an annual report documenting return on investment, it would impact on their giving.
Muirhead said: "With CSR there has to be a business case whereas with philanthropy there doesn't. Perhaps there should be. Not a business case as such but certainly an understanding of the motivations and benefits for the individual as well as society."
Around 85% of respondents currently give to charity. The biggest barriers to giving included it being ‘hard to find a cause’ for 16% of respondents, being ‘unsure/undecided where (geographically) to contribute’ for 13% and the recent performance of the global economy, for 12%.
Muirhead said: "Most encouragingly there is no insurmountable issue which prevents giving, which shows a real need for more information and education to deal with these. It's a big theme, and one that many in the industry will be familiar with."