SAN FRANCISCO, April 17, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Bank of the West Wealth Management, in partnership with parent company BNP Paribas, recently published the second edition of its Individual Philanthropy Index, which measures and reflects the commitment of philanthropists in four regions – Europe, Asia, the Middle East and for the first time, the United States. Scores are based on three main criteria: the amounts donated, innovation, and the effort invested by the philanthropists to promote their chosen causes.
The Index is derived from a survey of more than 400 high net worth individuals across the four regions, each with investable assets valued at $5 million or more. The survey was conducted by Forbes Insights between October and December 2013.
In the United States, "health" and "hunger/food" were tied for top cause in the world, each cited by 33% of respondents. "Social change/diversity" closely followed, cited by more than one in four (28%) of U.S. respondents.
On the other hand, respondents from Europe, Asia and the Middle East most frequently cited the environment as the world's top cause.
The Index also shows that the motivations of the philanthropists surveyed vary among the four regions and are largely rooted in local history and culture; for example:
22% of respondents in the United States and 29% of respondents in the Middle East said that "personal ties and experience linked to the chosen cause" most frequently motivate their philanthropy. In the U.S., "religious faith" and "sense of duty" ranked second and third, cited by 16% and 14% of respondents respectively
In Asia, the "desire to give something back to society" ranked highest at 19%
In Europe, an "altruistic desire to help others" ranked as the top motivator and was mentioned by 22% of respondents
How urgent is the need for philanthropic giving?
79% of those polled describe the worldwide need for philanthropic giving as 'urgent' or 'extremely urgent'
How does respondents' wealth affect their giving?
More than 50% of respondents in the U.S. and Asia and 72% of those surveyed in the Middle East would be encouraged to increase their giving based on their view of the current state of their wealth
In Europe, the picture is less clear-cut, with 40% stating that the current state of their wealth encourages them to increase their giving, while an equal number indicate that their perception would drive them to give less
How long are respondents willing to wait to see results?
Donors in the United States, Asia, and Europe expect to see faster results than their Middle East counterparts – in general, in less than 10 years.
In the Middle East, more than half of all philanthropic donors are prepared to wait more than 25 years to see the impact of their philanthropic activities
"Philanthropic giving is an important consideration for many of our Wealth Management clients," said John Bahnken, senior executive vice president and head of Bank of the West's Wealth Management Group. "From our private client advisors through our trust team, this kind of research helps clients feel more informed when they are assessing options for their long-term giving strategy that is closely aligned with their interests and overall legacy," he said.
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