Charitable Giving in Retirement

Jul 31, 2018 / Amanda Chase, Horsesmouth Assistant Editor

Once retirement begins and people tend to have more time but less money than when they were working, they typically cut back on spending. An intriguing new survey has found, however, that during the first five years of retirement, their rate of charitable giving remains pretty stable and they often also give as much as when they first retired—except for single men, who become less generous.

The survey from the Women’s Philanthropy Institute—How Women and Men Give Around Retirement—found a similar pattern regarding volunteering; people tend to volunteer as much or more in the first five years of retirement as when they first retire, except for single men whose volunteering rate drops dramatically.

Single women tend to give far more to charity than single men during the decades before retirement and that trend continues into retirement, the survey said. Before retirement, about 77% of single women give to charity vs. 66% of single men. After retirement, 76% of single women give and 67% of single men do. (Married couples and single women consistently give to charity more than single men.)

But it’s a different story for single men: At retirement, the survey found, about 75% give to charity. But by year five of retirement, only about 40% do. At retirement, single men give about $1,200 a year to charity, on average (by contrast, couples give $4,000). Giving for single men soars to roughly $3,500 in year two of retirement, then plummets to under $1,000, which is also where it winds up in year five.

Based on the Women’s Philanthropy Institute report’s findings, charities and nonprofit fundraisers may need to do more to persuade single men in retirement to give some of their money and time to worthy causes. The researchers offer a few suggestions, writing: “Fundraisers might develop new opportunities to engage and steward prospective single men donors in ways that appeal to them. Unique volunteer experiences, special events connected to the organization’s mission, and opportunities to build their social networks are potential engagement strategies.”

You can find the full Next Avenue article here.

 

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