According to the 2016 edition of the BNP Paribas Individual Philanthropy Index, the United States ranks first overall among four regions worldwide in the commitment of its philanthropists, followed by Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.
Based on a survey of 457 high-net-worth individuals with investable assets of at least $5 million, the fourth edition of the index ranked the U.S. first in the category of amount given or pledged to philanthropy, with Europe not far behind, while the Middle East saw the fastest rate of increase in giving and Europe topped the list for promoting philanthropy and for exploring new and innovative approaches. Conducted by Forbes Insights, the survey also found that health was the top priority area for philanthropists in the U.S., Europe, and the Middle East, while the environment was the number-one priority for philanthropists in Asia, and that 38 percent of survey respondents in the U.S., 28 percent in Asia, 26 percent in Europe, and 13 percent in the Middle East said they planned to leave at least a third of their fortune to charity.
According to the survey, achieving a sustainable outcome was the second most cited motivation (41 percent) for giving, after the appeal of a cause itself (48 percent). In terms of philanthropic efforts to realize sustainable outcomes, 54 percent of all respondents said impact investing was the most promising approach, followed by collaborative philanthropy (53 percent), sharing data and best practices (38 percent), venture philanthropy (25 percent), and philanthropy aimed at systemic change (16 percent).
"We notice that the philanthropy is more and more professionalizing," said Nathalie Sauvanet, global head of individual philanthropy at BNP Paribas Wealth Management. "For half of respondents, philanthropy is integrated in their lives, as they have their investments, business activities, and lifestyle aligned with their philanthropic goals."