As the wealth gap in charitable giving grows, having a donation plan in place is more important than ever.
Low- and middle-income families—those earning less than $100,000 a year—donated 4.5 percent more of their income in 2012 than they did in 2006, before the recession hit, according to a new report from The Chronicle of Philanthropy. But over that same period, wealthier consumers earning $200,000 or more reduced their share of income donated by 4.6 percent.
That may seem counterintuitive, but Stacy Palmer, editor of the Chronicle, says among wealthier individuals, "there's still a very great feeling of caution"—especially with market fluctuations. Low- and middle-income Americans, meanwhile, have felt more of the pinch of the down economy. "They're still trying to help each other out," said Palmer.