Predicting charitable bequests
Understanding what leads an individual to engage in charitable behavior is important to a variety of public policy issues, from government tax benefit programs fostering private action to the fund-raising techniques of individual non-governmental organizations. This study is an attempt to identify personal characteristics which lead an individual to provide for a charitable bequest in his or her will. I use the data set from the Giving and Volunteering in the United States 2001 study, a national survey focusing on respondents' charitable behavior. Using a logistic model, I will seek to identify which types of demographic characteristics as well as personal attitudes and activities which have significant predictive power on whether or not an individual leaves a charitable bequest. Before beginning the research, I expected to find that income variables, age, and community involvement would all have significant predictive effects on charitable bequests. Indeed, this was the case, with childhood volunteerism, non-income wealth, and retirement status having the most substantial effects upon the decision to leave a charitable bequest.
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