In a wonderfully refreshing, if somewhat immodest manner, Bank of America is touting what it calls “the initial reults of the most comprehensive survey to-date of the philanthropic behavior of of weathy Americans.”

The survey, conducted by the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University and paid for by Bank of America, reflects the opinions of nearly 1,000 respondents with household income greater than $200,000 and/or net-worth of at least $1 million.

No surprises in this study that confirms most of the serious wealth and major donor research over the past decade. Nonetheless, the sheer scope of the effort makes it a 'must read' for strategically-minded fundraisers.

Before getting to the bottom line of the study, a kudo or two to Bank of America in the candor and openess department. Rather than try to camouflage this study as some charitably inspired, “aw-shucks-we're-just-trying-to-help” effort, the Bank makes absolutely clear that they're into this for all the right reasons: money!

And clearly they are. For example, Bank of America Family Wealth Advisors, part of the private banking division, focuses on the nation's wealthiest familes; and its Philanthropic Management division manages $30 billion in funds for more than 9,000 non-profits, foundations, donors and other philanthropic clients. They make no bones about their interest in philanthropy.

It's long amazed us that too many financial institutions and most non-profits want to pussyfoot around the issue of making money out of effective philanthropic management — especially given the immense size of the global market for good works and the money involved. Afterall, don't charities deserve the same or even greater skill when it comes to investing and money management and why shouldn't they pay for it handsomely.

So, our hats are off to Bank of America, both for their candor and for this study.

Below is a brief take away of the top line findings. But, don't take our word for it. Read their press release and the details in it.

Continue reading “We're In It For The Money”

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