Category Archives: Fundraising Insights

2016 US Trust Study of High Net Worth Philanthropy

A High Net Worth Individual (HNWI) typically holds $1 million in liquid financial assets.

By Erica Sauer

The 2016 US Trust Study of High Net Worth Philanthropy examined charitable practices and preferences of wealthy households. The top perceived challenges for HNWI donors included “identifying what they cared about and deciding where to donate” (67.3%) and “understanding how much they can afford to give” (49.8%).

Top Takeaways

  1. Focusing on your prospect’s passions early in cultivation will help you identify good matches to your organization’s unique giving opportunities and develop the trust and engagement needed to make a major gift. For great ideas on how to ask the right questions to uncover your prospect’s passions, consider reading Power Questions: Build Relationships, Win New Business, and Influence Others by Andrew Sobel and Jerold Panas.
  2. Share your organization’s evidence of effectiveness, cost-effectiveness, transparency and room for more funding. GiveWell, a nonprofit that identifies giving opportunities, uses these criteria.
  3. A prospect may not know how much they can afford to donate. Present multiple funding options at your organization. Use prospect research to settle on an Ask Amount and consider the prospect’s capacity rating, philanthropic inclination and affinity.