US Giving on the Rise
18 June 2014 at 10:04 am
A new report on giving in the US has revealed Americans donated an estimated $335.17 billion to charitable causes in 2013, a three per cent increase from 2012.
And researchers project that giving is on track to surpass 2007 pre-recession levels of $350 billion as early as 2015.
The “Giving USA – Annual Report on Philanthropy,” from the Giving USA Foundation reveals donations by individuals rose an estimated 2.7 per cent in 2013 to $240.60 billion in contributions; foundations increased 4.2 percent to $48.96 billion; corporations fell 3.2 percent to $17.88 billion and bequests increased 7.2 percent to $27.73 billion.
While donations to arts and culture saw the largest increase in last year’s report, this year’s report shows education with the largest increase in giving (7.4 per cent).
Donations to public-society benefit rose by 7.0 per cent; arts and culture rose by 6.3 per cent; animals and environment by 6.0 per cent; health organisations 4.5 per cent; and human services by 0.7 per cent.
Giving to religious and international affairs organisations dropped, by 1.6 per cent and 8.0 per cent, respectively.
"We see that giving to the arts, health, the environment, and education has been consistently rising in the last three years," Giving Institute chair David H. King said.
"These types of organisations, perhaps with a slight exception for health, are those for which donors reduced their support during the recession, when they tended to give to organisations serving what they may have perceived as more urgent needs. That would include entities like food pantries, homeless shelters, and even groups providing international relief. As the economy recovers, donors are restoring funding to those sectors in a strong way."
“Historically, giving is a lagging indicator of the economy,” Eileen Heisman, CEO of National Philanthropic Trust, a Giving USA partner said.
“The positive data in Giving USA’s report indicates, overall, Americans are feeling more confident about the domestic and global economy.
“As the economy continues on a positive trajectory, Americans continue to make giving back a priority,” Heisman said. “More than ever, donors are giving with smarts as well as soul—supporting what is important to them but also doing the research on the charities they like in the US to be sure they can optimize their donations.
“The sectors in this report that have and have not shown growth mirror the evolving social trends and values of our nation.”
The report noted a 7.0 per cent increase in the public-society benefit organisation category, where donor-advised funds are counted.