Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Sunday, April 23, 2023

Americans Have a Positive View On Charitable Giving, Despite Limited Knowledge

Estate planningAmericans have a favorable view of charitable giving, with higher confidence in philanthropy than in government or private sector institutions. However, many who favor charitable giving are in the dark about how it works.

Indiana University’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy surveyed over 1,300 adults in 2022. The goal was to illuminate people’s attitudes and beliefs about philanthropy and nonprofits. Americans interact with nonprofits regularly, however, definitions of philanthropy and trust in nonprofits vary by age group. Wealthier households had more awareness of donor-advised funds and how the philanthropic sector works.

“This study helps us better understand public views, which in turn can bolster the efforts of nonprofits and the sector’s leaders to help build greater levels of knowledge and trust that are vital to sustaining philanthropy with mutual benefit to donors and recipients alike,” says Una Osili, associate dean for research and international programs at Indiana University.

For more information see Joe Dziemianowicz “Americans Have a Positive View On Charitable Giving, Despite Limmited Knowledge” Barrons PENTA, April 7, 2023.

Special thanks to Joel C. Dobris (Professor of Law, UC Davis School of Law) for bringing this article to my attention.


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When asked how much they trust nonprofits to do the right thing, 39% of respondents expressed total confidence in these organizations, the highest response for any societal institution in the survey. --- That number might reflect the belief that contributions to local nonprofits and agencies don't stay in the community, are used for salaries or perks, and don't benefit people we know or know about.

Posted by: Len Sandler | Apr 24, 2023 6:17:20 AM

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