Charitable Giving Rose 4.4 Percent in 2013, 'Giving USA' Finds

Charitable Giving Rose 4.4 Percent in 2013, 'Giving USA' Finds

Charitable contributions from individuals, corporations, and foundations totaled an estimated $335.17 billion in 2013, up 4.4 percent, or 3 percent in inflation-adjusted dollars, from the revised estimate of $320.97 billion for 2012, a new report from the Giving USA Foundation and the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy finds.

According to the fifty-ninth annual Giving USA report, giving by individuals — which accounted for 72 percent of total contributions — increased 4.2 percent (2.7 percent when adjusted for inflation) in 2013, to an estimated $240.60 billion. Driven in part by a 10.5 percent increase in grantmaking by community foundations, foundation giving rose 5.7 percent (4.2 percent adjusted for inflation), to $48.96 billion, while bequests increased 8.7 percent (7.2 percent adjusted for inflation), to $27.73 billion. Corporate giving — which includes cash and in-kind contributions from corporate giving programs as well as grants and gifts from corporate foundations — fell 1.9 percent (-3.2 percent adjusted for inflation), to $17.88 billion, even as grantmaking by corporate foundations rose an estimated 5 percent, to $5.7 billion.

"We are seeing clear gains in the total amount given by individuals in the last couple of years," said Giving USA Foundation chair L. Gregg Carlson. "In fact, the rise in contributions by individuals between 2011 and 2013 represents 73 percent of the growth in total giving during that period."

For the second straight year, giving in support of religious groups remained flat, falling an estimated 0.2 percent (-1.6 percent, adjusted for inflation), although it continued to receive the largest share (31 percent) of charitable giving. It was followed by giving to education, which jumped 8.9 percent (7.4 percent, adjusted for inflation), to $52.07 billion; human services ($41.51 billion, including $164 million in support of disaster relief efforts); health ($31.86 billion); public society-benefit ($23.89 billion); arts and culture ($16.66 billion); international affairs ($14.93 billion); and animal welfare and the environment  ($9.72 billion).

"We see that giving to the arts, health, the environment, and education has been consistently rising in the last three years," said Giving Institute chair David H. King. "These types of organizations, perhaps with a slight exception for health, are those for which donors reduced their support during the recession, when they tended to give to organizations 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."

"Giving USA: Americans Gave $335.17 Billion to Charity in 2013; Total Approaches Pre-Recession Peak" Giving USA Press Release 06/17/2014.