Giving Compass' Take:

• Fang Block explores the recent shifts in charitable giving by wealthy Americans, highlighting the increasing importance of evidence-based practices. 

• How can funders work together to improve the impact of their giving? What are the potential problems of this trend? 

• Learn how behavioral science can maximize charitable giving. 

While wealthy Americans continued to show generosity with their money and time, a significant number of them stopped giving to certain charities last year due to changes in their personal circumstances and as backlash to organizations’ communication strategy, or lack thereof, according to a U.S. Trust report released Wednesday.

In 2017, high-net-worth households in the U.S. gave $29,269 to charitable causes and organizations, up 15% from 2015. By comparison, general U.S. households gave an average of $2,514 last year.

Additionally, 90% of high-net-worth families gave to charity last year, much higher than the 56% that gave among the general U.S. population, according to U.S. Trust Study of High Net Worth Philanthropy, a biennial report conducted in partnership with the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.

Wealthy Americans were also generous in other areas, with 48% of those surveyed volunteering their time and talents to charitable organizations, almost double the rate of the general population (25%).

The study surveyed 1,646 households with a minimum annual income of $200,000 and/or a net worth greater than $1 million during the second quarter of this year. The median annual household income of the respondents was $350,000, while the median net worth was $2 million.

On average, wealthy donors gave to eight different nonprofit organizations in 2017. Some organizations that failed to meet their expectations were dropped. About 28% of those surveyed stopped giving to at least one organization, citing reasons that included receiving solicitations too frequently (41%); believing the organization wasn’t effective or didn’t sufficiently communicate its effectiveness (16%); and being asked for an inappropriate amount (9%).

Read the full article about changes in charitable giving by Fang Block at Barron's.