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BMO Private Bank Philanthropy Day Study: Wisconsin's Affluent Will Be Donating an Average of $12,000 to Charitable Causes This Year

MILWAUKEE, WI--(Marketwired - Nov 15, 2013) -

  • Ninety percent of high-net worth individuals in Wisconsin expect to make a donation in 2013
  • They are earmarking an average of 6 percent of their estates to charities
  • Community programs, religious institutions, and health are their favorite causes to support

To mark National Philanthropy Day (November 15), BMO Private Bank today released the results of a study revealing that Wisconsin's affluent plan on donating, on average, $11,830 to charitable causes this year. This is significantly higher than the national average of $8,845.

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:

  • Wisconsin's wealthy have designated six percent of their estates to charity in their wills.
  • Twenty-eight percent are donating more to charity than they did before the onset of the recession five years ago. More than half (55 percent) are donating the same amount and only 18 percent are donating less.
  • The vast majority (90 percent) of the state's wealthy expect to make charitable contributions this year.
  • Among their most popular causes to support are local community programs (50 percent), religious institutions (43 percent), health programs and disease research (38 percent), education (33 percent), and children's charities (30 percent).

"Our previous study indicated that Wisconsin's affluent have rebounded well from the recession and have returned to pre-recession levels of spending. It's gratifying to see that they have chosen to use a portion of their wealth to support their communities both now and into the future," said Jason Stamm, Regional President, Northern States, BMO Private Bank. "Their philanthropic efforts serve as a model for all Americans."

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 al l (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 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 40 Wisconsin 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:
Anna Seifert