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BMO Philanthropy Day Report: Minnesota's Affluent Plan to Leave Eight Percent of Their Estates to Charitable Causes

MINNEAPOLIS, MN and ST. PAUL, MN--(Marketwired - Nov 14, 2013) -

  • High-net wo rth Minnesotans will be donating an average of $5,650 to charitable causes this year
  • Fifty-two percent are giving more to charity than they did before the 2008 recession
  • Religion, local community programs, health, the arts and education are among the most the popular causes they are supporting

A new study by BMO Private Bank to mark National Philanthropy Day (November 15) has revealed that high-net worth individuals in Minnesota plan to leave an average of eight percent of their wealth to charity in their wills. This is higher than the national average of seven percent. In addition, the study found that affluent Minnesotans expect to donate an average of $5,650 to charitable causes in 2013.

The study is the third in a series by BMO Private Bank examining trends among high-net worth Americans (those with investible assets of $1 million or more). The study also found:

  • More than half (52 percent) of wealthy Minnesotans are donating more to charity than they did before the onset of the 2008 recession. Thirty-seven percent are donating the same amount and only 10 percent are donating less.
  • Most (95 percent) of the state's affluent expect to make charitable contributions this year.
  • Their favorite charitable causes to support include religious institutions (62 percent), local community programs (45 percent), health programs and disease research (40 percent), the arts (32 percent), education (32 percent), and children's charities (30 percent).

"Minnesota's affluent are feeling secure about the economy and its future and are demonstrating this renewed confidence through their philanthropy," said Steve Marsich, Senior Vice President, BMO Private Bank. "They have returned to pre-recession spending levels and are now turning their attent ion to strengthening their communities and helping those less fortunate."

Key National Findings:

On a national level, the study found:

  • Affluent Americans plan on leaving, on average, seven percent of their estates to charitable causes in their wills.
  • Almost all (94 percent) expect to make charitable contributions this year, with an average donation amount of $8,845.
  • Half (48 percent) of high-net worth Americans are donating more to charities than they did before the 2008 recession. Forty-one percent reported that they are donating the same amount and only 11 percent are donating less.
  • Almost half (49 percent) are giving to religious institutions while 46 percent are donating to health programs and disease research. Other popular causes include local community programs (36 percent), children's charities (31 percent), the arts (28 percent) and education programs and animal welfare (27 percent each).

Claudia Sangster, Director, Philanthropic Services, CTC Consulting | Harris myCFO, a part of BMO Financial Group, provides some insight to those seeking to make the most of their charitable giving: "Rather than giving on an ad-hoc basis, people should consider maximizing the impact of their generosity by working with a financial professional to develop a philanthropic strategy that is part of an overall financial plan. Not only will their giving have a more lasting impact, but it will also enable them to leave a legacy for their family, their community and future generations."

About BMO Private Bank, a Part of BMO Financial Group
BMO Private Bank offers a comprehensive range of wealth management services that include investment advisory, trust, banking and financial planning t o meet the financial needs of high net worth clients. Through integrated teams of experienced financial professionals, BMO Private Bank helps its clients realize their financial and lifestyle goals with solutions that are custom tailored and delivered with the highest level of personalized service.

BMO Private Bank is a brand name used in the United States by BMO Harris Bank N.A. Member FDIC. Not all products and services are available in every state and/or location.

The online survey was conducted by Pollara between March 28th and April 11th, 2013 with a sample of 482 American adults who have $1M+ in investable assets (including a sub-sample of 40 Minnesota residents). The margin of error for a probability sample of this size is ± 4.5%, 19 times out of 20.

For further information:

Media Contact:
Beth Copeland