Despite arguments that American capitalism fosters greed, people who own businesses are 80 percent more likely to contribute to charitable causes than people who do not, says a report by the Center for Data Analysis at the Heritage Foundation.
On average, entrepreneurs donate 1.8 percent of their incomes, while those not running businesses donate 1 percent, says the report, "Free-Market Philanthropy: The Social Aspect of Entrepreneurship."
Even entrepreneurs in the bottom-fifth income bracket donated 0.6 percent of their incomes, more than six times the rate for non-entrepreneurs in the same income bracket.
Nearly 80 percent of charitable donations from business owners go toward organizations supporting art, culture, religion or education, says the report. Entrepreneurs on average give 81 percent more to secular causes and 121 percent more to educational organizations than do non-entrepreneurs.
Business owners are most motivated to contribute if they want to set a good example for their children and peers, or if they believe nonprofits can provide a service not provided by government, says a survey conducted by the Bank of America that the Heritage Foundation study cites.
More than three in 10 high-net-worth entrepreneurs said they would leave more to charity in their wills if Congress repealed the estate tax, says the survey, "Bank of America Study of High Net-Worth Philanthropy."