Fotios Tsarouhis
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Fotios Tsarouhis in "Profit is sweet, even if it comes from deception." - Sophocles,

The richest are giving more to charity. And less.

MarketWatch explains the new giving trends of the American elite:

The amount of money wealthy Americans are donating to charity is falling as a percentage of their income. Before you denounce the 1%, new research finds that they’re actually being more charitable on a per-dollar basis, but their wealth is increasing even more than their charitable giving.

Households with a net worth of $1 million or annual income of $200,000 or more gave 28% more to charity in 2013 than they did in 2011, according to the latest biennial “Study of High Net Worth Philanthropy” by U.S. Trust private bank, a subsidiary of Bank of America, and the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. And 75% said they volunteered their time with at least one nonprofit organization.

The average dollar amount given to charity by wealthy donors increased to $68,580 from $53,519 in 2011, the report found. But average giving as a percentage of household income decreased by one percentage point as increases in income levels outpaced increases in charitable giving among this high net worth demographic.

Since the recession, the rich may have gotten richer, but the middle class haven’t fared so well. In fact, the median net worth fell 10% to 17% between 2010 and 2013 for people in most income groups, the U.S. Federal Reserve said last month. “Only families at the very top of the income distribution saw widespread income gains between 2010 and 2013,” according to the Federal Reserve.

That bodes well for donations, though. “Wealthy donors are intentional about and engaged in their giving,” says Claire Costello, national philanthropic practice executive for U.S. Trust. “When they find that meaningful intersection between their ideas and ideals, they give more.” (At least 30 billionaires signed the “Giving Pledge,” an initiative started in 2009 to encourage them to give away half their wealth.)

A recent analysis of Internal Revenue Service tax returns by the Chronicle of Philanthropy, a Washington, D.C., periodical, found that wealthy Americans were indeed giving more, but that study was far more pessimistic about the extent of their charitable giving. Those earning over $200,000 a year reduced the share of their income that they gave to charity by 4.6% in 2012 compared with 2006, it found.

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That said, wealthier Americans obviously contribute more overall dollars than low-income people, as even a smaller percentage of their income is usually worth more in total dollar value. The richest Americans donated $77.5 billion in 2012, an increase of $4.6 billion after adjusting for inflation, the Chronicle of Philanthropy found. Those who earned less than $100,000 gave $57.3 billion in 2012.

Source: MarketWatch.com, Oct 23, 2014