“To whom will he teach knowledge, and to whom will he explain the message?” (Isaiah 28:9)
Every year, Giving USA compiles a comprehensive report on American philanthropy. It is a wise and far-sighted priest and parish council that surveys the external macro factors that affect parish life.
Americans donated an estimated $358.38 billion to charity in 2014; highest total in Giving USA’s 60-year history.
The $358.38 billion in giving surpasses the peak that occurred before the Great Recession. It is an increase of 7.1 percent in current dollars and 5.4 percent in inflation adjusted dollars over the revised estimate of $339.94 billion that Americans donated in 2013.
In addition, 2014 marked the fifth year in a row that giving went up, indicating that the economy is continuing its positive trajectory.
Giving was up across all sources, with Giving USA reporting the following increases when compared to 2013 giving (in adjusted inflation dollars):
Individual giving increased 4.0 percent
Foundation giving increased 6.5 percent
Bequest giving increased 13.6
Corporate giving increased 11.9
Of particular interest in 2014 giving were the mega-gifts largely given by younger tech entrepreneurs. These gifts, which ranged from $200 million to nearly $2 billion, were high impact gifts, and there is certainly reason to closely follow the people making them and to anticipate how their giving patterns may change as they age.
With the exception of International Affairs, giving in 2014 rose across all sectors, with Arts, Culture and the Humanities seeing the highest percentage growth – partially the result of mega-gift donors returning to the arts as the economy continues to recover. Giving USA reports these percentage changes in giving (in adjusted inflation dollars):
Arts, Culture, Humanities up 7.4 percent
Environment, Animals up 5.3
Health up 3.8 percent
Public Society Benefit up 3.4 percent
Education up 3.2 percent
Human Services up 1.9 percent
Religion up 0.9 percent
Foundations up 0.1 percent
International Affairs down 3.6 percent
Giving to foundations, public society benefit and international affairs are the only sectors for which giving has not yet returned to or surpassed peak levels.
The release of Giving USA 2015 marks the beginning of communications to our clients on the topic of the findings as well as how Giving USA and The Philanthropy Outlook can be used together to allow us to understand the philanthropy landscape in a way that has never been possible.
Download the 2015 annual report summary at givingusa.org.
The complete report is available for purchase from Giving USA. http://store.givingusareports.org/