Wealthy black Americans are more likely to donate to educational institutions, religious organizations, and human-services groups than other affluent people, according to a new study.
Black donors who make at least $250,000 or who have $1-million in assets also tend to give anonymously and to nonprofits they know well, says Marguerite Griffin, national director of philanthropic services at Northern Trust Corporation, a financial-services firm in Chicago, which conducted the survey.
“Affluent blacks have been most interested in supporting groups that have supported them,” she says.
Fifty-two percent of wealthy blacks who participated in the survey said they donated to educational institutions, compared with 39 percent of other wealthy Americans. Forty-eight percent of wealthy blacks gave to religious organizations, and 47 percent gave to human-service groups, while 44 percent of affluent non-blacks gave to religious organizations, and 38 percent gave to human-service charities.
Wealthy black Americans gave comparatively less to health groups and to environmental and animal-welfare organizations than other affluent people but about the same to arts and culture groups and slightly more to international organizations than non-blacks.
Differences in the level of giving to particular causes emerged between the survey’s oldest and youngest participants. For example, 57 percent of older blacks gave to religious organizations, while only 29 percent of the younger ones did.
Young blacks were more likely to support environmental and animal-welfare charities than their older counterparts, with 36 percent of those under 35 giving to such groups, compared with 28 percent of those 55 and older supporting such groups.
More than half of the wealthy blacks who participated in the survey—58 percent—said they had not worked with a financial adviser in the past five years to establish an estate or a wealth-transfer fund, and only 25 percent said they had established a charitable trust.
The survey polled 361 black and 256 non-black Americans with $250,000 or more in household income or at least $1-million in assets. The full report is available on Northern Trust Corporation’s Web site.