Forty-one percent of American millionaires consider charity one of their top three spending priorities, a far bigger share than wealthy people in 19 other countries, according to a new survey.
The survey of 2,000 millionaires by Barclays Wealth, in London, found substantial differences among the wealthy depending on where they live. For example, only 20 percent of Australian millionaires considered charity one of the top three spending priorities.
But while U.S. millionaires were the most likely to make charitable giving a priority, they did not rank No. 1 in volunteering. The percentage of American millionaires who said they spend more than five hours each week on charity work was 17 percent, making the United States No. 3 in terms of wealthy volunteers, after India and Ireland. Twenty percent of millionaires in both of those countries said they spend more than five hours per week on charity work.
The study also looked at what motivates people to give in four countries where millionaires consider charity a main spending priority: India, Ireland, South Africa, and the United States.
Millionaires in India and South Africa said their strong ties to the place where they live was a key motivator, while in India and the United States millionaires said they gave because they didn’t think government should be expected to provide many of the services charities do.
The survey also found that wealthy men in developed countries are more active in both giving and volunteering, while wealthy women in developing countries took the lead.
And philanthropy is more important to young millionaires in the United States than elsewhere, the study found. In other countries, older millionaires were more likely to be big donors and volunteers than young ones.