Wealthy Chinese Americans Give Similarly to Non-Chinese, Report Finds

High-income Chinese Americans and non-Chinese American high-income individuals share similar behaviors with respect to philanthropic giving, a survey from CTBC Bank finds.

According to the third annual CTBC Bank Survey: Philanthropy and Business (24 pages, PDF), Americans favor philanthropic organizations that are connected to children and education, with nearly 70 percent of American households with incomes of at least $250,000 putting greater emphasis on nonprofits that support K-12 education than those focused on more senior age groups and 68 percent of high-income Americans in general and 71 percent of high-income Chinese Americans sharing that proclivity. The report also found that children's and educational nonprofits are regarded as more important for social development by just under half the survey respondents (47 percent and 46 percent, respectively), and by 45 percent of high-income Chinese Americans and 44 percent of high-income Americans in general. High-income Chinese Americans (41 percent) and high-income Americans in general (33 percent) also were more likely to support healthcare charities over disaster and humanitarian relief, environmental, animal welfare, economic development, and arts groups.

"One reason education and health care are favored for giving could be that they are highly regulated, for the most part they have good reputations, and are generally accountable," said Clayton Dube, director of the U.S.C. US-China Institute. "They want to see where their money goes. In a sense, investment in education, particularly early childhood education, is an investment in the future, but in another sense, many of those who give to these institutions see the return almost immediately in the form of new equipment for a lab, a library, or a debate team's trip."

"We were pleasantly surprised to find there is very little difference between the attitudes and behaviors of Chinese American and [the overall] population," said Noor Menai, president and CEO of CTBC Bank USA. "In a time when we are often reminded of that which divides us as Americans, we hope this study helps to underscore how similar we are and remind us that we are all working toward an America that is greater and more successful than ever."