High-Income Chinese-Americans Target Science, Tech

Affluent Chinese-Americans put a greater emphasis on science and technology nonprofits (20 percent) than wealthy Americans generally (9 percent) but almost half of both groups prioritize children’s and education charities.

Those were among the few differences between the two high-income groups, according to the “CTBC Bank Survey: Philanthropy & Business.” The survey, released today, explores personal motivators behind why and how households with incomes of $250,000 or more give. It’s the third survey in the bank’s annual report series. This year’s survey also examines how those households consider a company’s charity with their consumer dollars when investing, spending or deciding on taking a job.

More than 90 percent of both Americans and Chinese-Americans have donated money to a nonprofit in the past year while 62 percent of Americans and 58 percent of Chinese-Americans have volunteered their time.

“People tend to donate money over their personal time. This is likely a reflection of individuals’ desire to give, combined with the limitations of being busy, active professionals,” said Paul Ong, professor of urban planning, social welfare and Asian-American studies at UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs.

High-income Chinese-Americans were more likely to find out about a specific nonprofit to donate or volunteer their time at the workplace (37 percent) as compared to high-income Americans (27 percent). Both categories, however, were most likely to find out about a specific charity through friends of family (64 percent each).

Chinese-Americans are slightly more likely to give to a cause which they or a loved one has had a personal experience (87 percent) than high-income Americans (81 percent).

Nationally, high-income Americans in the study were more likely to give to nonprofits that share their religious affiliation (57 percent) than high-income Chinese-Americans (49 percent). The Chinese-Americans surveyed believed donating money and volunteering their time were equally important ways to contribute to charities. Nationally, Americans favored giving money (58 percent) over time (42 percent).

“We were pleasantly surprised to find there is very little difference between the attitudes and behaviors of the Chinese-American and national populations,” CTBC Bank USA President and CEO Noor Menai said. “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 ultimately are and remind us that we are all working toward an America that is greater and more successful than ever,” he said.

More than three-quarters of high-income Chinese-Americans are likely to seek employment at an organization that contributes to its community on a corporate level, compared with two-thirds of high-income Americans generally. High-income Chinese-Americans also were a little more likely (63 percent) to consider a company’s corporate giving practices when choosing where to work than national high-income Americans (55 percent).

CTBC Bank consulted experts from the University of Southern California and UCLA for survey development and analysis of the findings. Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, Jr., chairman of the Huntsman Cancer Foundation and former ambassador to China, wrote the report’s foreword.