PNC Wealth Management Study: 59% Of Millionaires Feel Obligation To Give Back

Despite continued economic woes, a majority of the nation's millionaires aren't cinching their purse strings when it comes to charitable giving.

Fifty-nine percent of millionaires agree they feel they have an obligation to give back to their community, according to a survey released Jan. 17 by PNC Wealth Management . The percentage remains the same as it was in 2008.

The study also revealed that 21 percent plan of these wealthy donors plan to increase their giving, while 22 percent of millionaires plan on cutting back the amount they give to charity. Forty-six percent plan no change.

"It is encouraging to see that millionaires, considering today's economic headwinds, recognize a personal responsibility to give back to perpetuate the legacy of a 'cared for society,'" R. Bruce Bickel, senior vice president of PNC Wealth Management, said in the release. "While constantly re-evaluating one's financial position to determine where, to whom and how much one can give, the wealthy may be guided not by the wallet, but by the heart."

The survey asked about billionaire Warren Buffett's call on wealthy individuals to pay more in taxes as well as give more to charitable causes. Almost half said they agreed with Buffett but did not believe they "are in the same league" as he is.

The Chronicle of Philanthropy tracks large donations in an online database and revealed early this year that the biggest gifts totaled more than $2.6 billion in 2011, up drastically from the $1.3 billion in 2010.

The top major donation went to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, with university donations topping the list in terms of categorical giving, according to the the Chronicle.