Rise In US Giving
22 July 2004 at 1:07 pm
American individuals, estates, foundations, and corporations gave an estimated $AUD 350 Billion ($US240.72 billion) to charitable causes in 2003, according to Giving USA 2004, a study released by Giving USA Foundation. This is an increase of 2.8 percent over the previous year and the study says this is the highest rate of growth seen since 2000.
Giving USA, the annual report on philanthropy, is published by Giving USA Foundation, a public service initiative of the Trust for Philanthropy of the American Association of Fundraising Counsel (AAFRC).
The study is researched and written by the Centre on Philanthropy at Indiana University. Since 1998, charitable giving has been 2 percent or more of gross domestic product (GDP) following more than two decades below that mark.
Henry (Hank) Goldstein, the chair of Giving USA Foundation says people are motivated to give because they value the cause, whether it is religion, education, health care, or international relief.
Goldstein says that charitable giving above 2 percent of gross domestic product is one demonstration of America’s renewed commitment to the good works done by charities and congregations.
As part of the estimating procedure, Giving USA surveys Not for Profit organisations about how much they received. For 2003, 55 percent of responding charities in the Giving USA survey reported an increase in charitable contributions in 2003 compared to 2002, 8 percent reported virtually no change and only 37 percent reported a decline in gifts.
This is an improvement over 2002, when surveyed organisations were split nearly 50/50 between increases and decreases in contributions.
Giving USA presents the “big picture” showing four sources of charitable giving and allocation of gifts among nine types of recipient organisations.
Some of the results include what analysts describe as ‘surprising’ findings for 2003:
– Gifts received through bequests in 2003 are estimated to have increased 12.8 percent to $AUD31.4 billion ($US21.60 billion). Adjusted for inflation, this is growth of 10.3 percent. Bequest gifts represent 9.0 percent of the 2003 total estimated giving.
Analysts says the increase is surprising because of concerns raised about lower bequests as the estate tax started phasing out in 2001. It occurred because charitable bequests increased in value as household net worth rose by an estimated 6.9 percent (4.3 percent adjusted for inflation) in 2003 and because of the distribution of some very large estates.
– Giving to health organisations rose an estimated 10.7 percent (8.2 percent adjusted for inflation). Health is one of the largest sub-sectors, and both Giving USA and the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy found a decline in health giving for 2002. More than 60 percent of health organisations responding to the Giving USA survey for 2003 reported increased contributions received compared to 2002.
– Giving to the arts, culture, and humanities grew an estimated 7.3 percent (4.9 percent adjusted for inflation), reflecting increased charitable receipts at all sizes of arts organisations in the Giving USA survey.
Editor’s note; Despite the almost unimaginable12 figure results in the US, the unexpected areas of increased donations are food for thought in Australia!