Published on LinkedIn Influencers on June 27th, 2014
It is estimated that 88% of American households give to charity annually, and with over one million non-profit organizations registered with the IRS, every dollar has unlimited choices on where to go. For nearly 60 years, Giving USA has tracked the charitable contributions of those in the US, and while the charitable sector has taken a beating in recent years due to the ongoing fallout from the 2008 Financial Crisis and subsequent recession, the latest report, released earlier this month, has good news for those working in the nonprofit sector.
In the calendar year of 2013, Americans donated a total of $335.17 billion, a number that marks a 4.4% increase from 2012, and represents the fourth straight year of growth in charitable giving. More importantly, this number is rapidly approaching the pre-recession peak of charitable giving that occurred in 2007 when Americans donated $349.5 billion, meaning that while economic recovery from the recession is still persistently slow, the spirit of giving back hasn’t been dampened and continues to grow.
These reports are issued annually by Giving USA and track the charitable giving of individuals, foundations, corporations, and bequests, and highlights from the 2013 report include the following:
- Total giving has increased 22.0% since the official end of the recession in 2009.
- Individual giving (both small and large gifts) has significantly increased while corporate giving has decreased.
- International giving, is the only area that continues to decrease across all giving recipients.
- There is a major trend to give to causes versus to institutions.
- Millennials account for 11% of giving. However, they see advocacy, purchasing sustainable goods, and volunteering as equally important charitable action – and must have these actions in place before or while donating.
An additional notable fact is that by far, the most amount of charitable giving comes from individuals, with individual donations accounting for $240.6 billion of the total giving, or 72%. When people think of philanthropy, they often think of big foundations such as the Ford Foundation or the Gates Foundation, both of which give out hundreds of millions of dollars a year in grants, but with foundations as a whole only accounting for 15% of the total giving in the US last year, it is clear that individual giving truly does make a difference.
What are your favorite organizations and/or causes? Regardless of what they are, a big thanks for doing what you can to make a difference in the lives of others.