US Annual Giving Flat - Report
22 June 2012 at 10:47 am
Charitable giving in the US grew by just 0.9 percent after inflation in 2011, according to “Giving USA,” the annual yearbook of American philanthropy.
Total charitable contributions from American individuals, bequests, corporations and foundations were an estimated $298.42 billion in 2011 up from a revised estimate of $286.91 billion for 2010, according to Giving USA Foundation and its research partner, the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University.
The 2011 estimate, detailed in Giving USA’s 57th consecutive annual report, represents growth of 4.0 per cent in current dollars and 0.9 per cent in inflation-adjusted dollars.
“America’s charities have been traveling down a very rocky road in recent years, as evidenced by the data in our annual estimates and reports from those working in the field,” chair of Giving USA Foundation Jim Yunker said.
“Our Board members are cognizant of that reality but also see a bright spot- charitable giving, like other spending categories in the average American household budget, seems to be climbing out of the trough that resulted from the Great Recession, much like some other indicators measuring the state of the economy.”
“Our charitable giving estimates reflect what happened across the American economy in 2011,” said Thomas W. Mesaros, CFRE, chair of Giving Institute, the group that formed the Foundation in 1985.
“After years of a very tough environment for philanthropic causes, 2011’s results might come with a subdued sigh of relief among those engaged in service through charitable activities,” he said.
“The estimates for giving in 2011 are encouraging, but they demonstrate that charities still face ongoingchallenges,” says Patrick M. Rooney, Ph.D., executive director of the Center on Philanthropy. “In the past two years charitable giving has experienced its second slowest recovery following any recession since 1971.”
Giving USA: The Annual Report on Philanthropy, has detailed annual estimated charitable contributions by Americans – and how they are used – since 1956, making it the longest-running study of its kind.
Its research, conducted by the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University since 2000, estimates all giving to all charitable organisations across the United States. These national estimates do not show changes any one organisation or geographical region might observe – they calculate total giving by about 117 million households across America, approximately 12.4 million corporations that claim charitable deductions, an estimated 99,000 estates, and about 76,000 foundations.
The donations go to about 1.1 million IRS-registered charities, plus a conservative estimate of 222,000 American religious organisations.
Behind the Numbers:
• Over the past 40 years, total giving grew by an average of 2.6 per cent, adjusted for inflation, in the two-year period after each recession. By comparison, giving grew by an average rate of 1.1 per cent for 2010 and 2011.
• As has been the case since Giving USA first examined charitable donations in 1955, individuals accounted for the vast majority of estimated gifts in 2011 – 73 percent of total giving. When giving by bequests and family foundations is added to that, the total share of giving provided by American households increases to 88 per cent.
• Individual giving as a percentage of disposable personal income remained at 1.9 per cent in 2011, the same as in 2009 and 2010.
•Giving by corporations increased more slowly than the average annual inflation rate between 1971 and 2011; donations by American companies grew 3.1 per cent over that time frame, while inflation averaged 4.4 per cent annually over those 40 years.
•Gifts from estates were an estimated $24.41 billion in 2011, a 12.2 per cent increase over 2010 (8.8 percent increase in inflation-adjusted dollars). Giving by bequest represented 8 percent of total giving.
•Grant-making by private, community and operating foundations increased 1.8 percent in 2011 (decline of 1.3 percent in inflation-adjusted dollars) to $41.67 billion. Giving by foundations represented 14 per cent of total giving.
•Giving by corporations and their foundations in 2011 were $14.55 billion, a 0.1 per cent decline in current dollars, or a 3.1 per cent decline as measured by inflation-adjusted dollars. Giving by corporations represented 5 per cent of total giving.