Monday, July 1, 2013
The new Giving USA Report shows that although giving is slowly increasing, we are still far from pre-recession levels. (The Chronicle of Philanthropy's coverage is here). Contributions in 2012 totalled $316.23 billion, which is a 1.5% increase from 2011 (after adjusting for inflation). Of that, individual contributions rose 1.9%, giving by foundations grew 2.3%, and corporate gifts rose almost 10% (also after adjusting for inflation). On the other hand, charitable bequests decreased by an estimated 9%. Given these small increases, the report notes that it will take six years for giving to reach its 2007 high if growth continues at current rates. Although individual gifts totalled $229 billion in 2012, for example, this figure is still 11% shy of the 2007 levels.
On the recipient side, arts, culture, and humanities groups saw the largest increases, while religion and social service groups were among those with the smallest increases. The report suggests these changes are due to donors returning to pre-recession priorities; if so, it is interesting to see how donors prioritize when they tighten their belts. Gifts to international relief organizations were also fairly flat last year.