Judging by their charitable giving, the wealthy care more about education, religion and other issues more than the upcoming election, according to a new study.
Just over half of high-net-worth households give some money to political candidates, but elections remain low on the list when it comes to charitable donations from the wealthy, according to a study by The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University.
Religious and educational organizations are the largest recipients of charitable giving by far for wealthy people, according to the study, which was conducted for Bank of America.
Nearly 36 percent of the donors give their largest gifts to religious organizations and the second largest (25 percent) to educational causes, according to the study.
The survey looked at 700 individuals or households with a minimum of $200,000 in annual income and net worth of at least $1 million not counting their primary residence.
The three issues that matter the most to high-net-worth individuals are education (59.5 percent), health care (45.2 percent) and the economy (37.7 percent), according to the survey, which asked respondents to name three issues that matter the most to them. These were followed closely by poverty (34.4 percent) and the federal deficit (32.5 percent).
After religion and education, health organizations came in a distant third in terms of donations, with 8.2 percent of the largest donations going to these causes. Organizations addressing basic needs, societal concerns, youth and families, and arts and culture each got the largest gifts in slightly more than 5 percent of cases. The environment and animal rights received 3 percent of the largest gifts from donors and international causes came in at less than 1 percent.
Most of those surveyed say they plan to maintain their giving at about the same level for the next three to five years, while 24 percent plan to increase the amount of their charitable gifts. Only 9.4 percent say they will decrease the level.