One in Ten Wealthy Donors Plan to Give More, Survey Finds

One in Ten Wealthy Donors Plan to Give More, Survey Finds

More than a year after the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 went into effect, 10 percent of wealthy donors say they plan to give more to charity, while many remain uncertain about how the legislation will affect their giving, a survey by Marts & Lundy finds.

Based on interviews with a hundred and five wealthy donors and an online survey of more than twenty-five hundred donors across income levels, the analysis found that 37 percent of wealthy interviewees and 45 percent of the survey respondents said they didn't know or were unsure of the impact of changes to the tax code. And despite changes that reduce incentives to itemize charitable deductions for some, 10 percent of wealthy donors said they planned to give more and 53 percent said they would give the same, while none said they would give less. 

Among online survey respondents, 10 percent indicated they plan to give more, 39 percent plan to give the same, and 6 percent plan to give less. Those who report giving less than $5,000 annually to charity were more likely to say they plan to give more (14 percent) than those who report giving more than $5,000 annually (11 percent) or wealthy interviewees (10 percent). At the same time, those giving less than $5,000 annually also were less likely than the other two groups to say they plan to give the same amount as before (38 percent) and more likely to say they didn't know or were unsure of the tax law's effect on their giving (44 percent).  

As for why more people whose taxes have been reduced are not digging deeper, Marts & Lundy president and CEO Philippe G. Hills told the Chronicle of Philanthropy that interviews suggest factors such as continuing uncertainty about the impact of the new tax code and the economic outlook, including the future of international trade.

"Tax Reform and Donor Attitudes." Marts & Lundy Report 03/13/2019. Heather Joslyn. "10% of Wealthy Donors Will Increase Giving Under the New Tax Rules, Study Finds." Chronicle of Philanthropy 03/13/2019.