Written By: Shane Enete, Stuart Heckman, and Derek Lawson
Why do people give away their money? Charitable giving has traditionally been modeled using socioeconomic (i.e., age, income, education) and psychographic variables (i.e., self-esteem, guilt, pity). However, given that charitable giving is, inherently, a financial activity, would financial variables with a psychographic element (i.e., financial attitudinal variables) have the ability to improve the prediction of giving behavior? Using the 2016 Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF), we found that higher risk tolerance, higher subjective financial knowledge, longer financial time horizon, and access to emergency funds from friends/relatives all were positively associated with charitable giving. The results of this study help broaden the potential information set for financial counselors, marketers, non-profit organizations, or policymakers when understanding a client’s intention to charitably give and identifying potential donors beyond traditional socioeconomic and psychographic variables.