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BMO Private Bank Philanthropy Day Report: Affluent Floridians Will Donate an Average of $6,600 to Charities This Year

WEST PALM BEACH, FL--(Marketwired - Nov 14, 2013) -

  • Ninety-four percent of the state's wealthy will be making a charitable donation before the end of the year
  • They plan on leaving seven percent of their estates to charities in their wills
  • Health programs and disease research, religious institutions and political causes are among the most popular causes they are supporting

A new study released today by BMO Private Bank to mark National Philanthropy Day on November 15th has revealed that Florida's affluent (those with an investable assets of at least $1 million) will be donating an average of $6,627 to charities in 2013. The study also found that they will be designating seven percent of their estates to charitable causes in their wills, providing an opportunity for their contributions to impact non-profit organizations for decades to come.

The study is the third in a series by BMO Private Bank examining trends among high-net worth Americans. Other state highlights include:

  • Most wealthy Floridians (94 percent) expect to make at least one charitable contribution this year.
  • Almost one-half (46 percent) are donating more money to charity than they did prior to the onset of the recession five years ago. Thirty-four percent are donating the same amount and only 20 percent are don ating less.
  • Thirty-nine percent of the state's affluent give to political causes -- one of the highest percentages in the country.
  • Other preferred causes include health programs and disease research (49 percent), religious institutions (46 percent), education (39 percent), children's charities (37 percent), animal welfare and local community programs (32 percent for each) and the arts (29 percent).

"Wealthy Floridians have long been recognized as very generous, with significant contributions to their favorite charities and non-profit institutions," stated Michael J. Dyer, CFP and Managing Director, BMO Private Bank in West Palm Beach. "Not only do our clients make regular and substantial donations on an annual basis to a multitude of causes, but many have strategies in place for their support to continue through their estate plans."

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). 0;

Claudia Sangster, Director, Philanthropic Services, CTC Consulting | Harris myCFO 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 to 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 41 Florida residents). The margin of error for a probability sample of this size is ± 4.5%, 19 times out of 20.

*CFP: Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and federally registered CFP (with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board's initial and ongoing certification requirements.

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Media Contacts:
Carey Allen