South Africa’s wealthy givers

4 November 2013

Wealthy South Africans donated R8-billion in cash, R5.1-billion in goods and services and 7.9-million hours of their time to charities in 2012, according to a survey by Nedbank Private Bank.

The survey, The Giving Report II, is a follow-up to the first comprehensive national survey, the Giving Report I, on the giving practices of the highest net worth (HNW) individuals in South Africa.

The 2012 follow-up survey was conducted to identify giving trends that have emerged since 2010, and which continue to support the evolution of philanthropy in South Africa, Nedbank Private Bank said in its report, which was released last week.

Nedbank randomly selected 401 HNW individuals across the country, not all of whom were clients, and were defined as those with either an annual income exceeding R1.5-million, or investable assets (excluding their primary residence) of over R5-million.

Survey results

The survey revealed that 91% of those HNW individuals gave money, time or goods. Most (63%) gave less than R25 000 in value, and at the high end (7%) gave more than R100 000 in value.

Most commonly targeted were social and community development causes such as children’s homes, hospices and support for the aged. Fifty-six percent went to non-profit organisations, the most popular beneficiary, while 4% went to political parties and advocacy groups.

The top five reasons for donating were caring about a cause, wanting to make a difference, giving back to their community, religious beliefs and a family tradition of giving.

The most important selection criteria for donations were alignment with personal interest, reputation, and proven impact.

The survey also revealed that givers are taking a longer term approach to their donations, with 45% having given to the majority of their beneficiaries for more than five years. Larger givers followed a more formalised approach to donating.

Vince Boulle, executive head of Nedbank Private Worth, said the giving practices of local wealthy individuals “clearly evidences the significance and volume of the financial contribution that HNW individuals make towards philanthropic causes in South Africa.

“Through our dedicated philanthropy office, we at Nedbank Private Wealth see that the work of so many local philanthropists, big and small, continues but often under the radar,” Boulle said.

“We hope that the findings of this latest study again provide an opportunity for non-profit organisations and philanthropists to find out what HNW donors are doing, what areas they are supporting, and to what extent.”

SAinfo reporter