Bank of America commissioned The Center on Philanthropy at University of Indiana to do a survey of wealthy donors. About 700 responded. Results were compared to a similar survey done in 2006. I am proud to say I served with some leading lights on a panel to guide the study's questions. One of the most striking of the survey's findings is this:
Major shift in the source of charitable advice. One of the most striking differences between findings from the 2006 and 2008 studies is the dramatic increase in donors’ use of legal and financial professionals to help them make charitable giving decisions. Our 2006 study found that donors relied on non-profit personnel (41.2%) and their own peers (35.9%) more than any other source for advice in this area. Our 2008 data finds accountants (43.2%), attorneys (41.7%) and financial/wealth advisors (32.6%) to be among the leading sources of charitable advice.
The press release for the Bank of America survey is attached here, as is the final report.
2008 Bank of America HNW Philanthropy Study - press release.
2008 HNW Study - Initial Findings Fact Sheet
Bank of America is a fine bank. Amnesty International, say, is a fine nonprofit. For nonprofits to compete and collaborate effectively with the financial institutions and the tax, legal, and financial advisors who now are the preferred providers of philanthropic advice, the nonprofits are going to have to learn more about how wealth planning works. I hope at the American College, through the Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy curriculum to bring the financial and nonprofit people together in meaningful common purpose for the benefit of donors, families, and society -- as well as for the benefit of the money center banks and other financial intermediaries.