Giving in Florida Improves Slowly, Report Finds

While the recession took its toll on charitable giving in Florida, early signs suggest that a general improvement in the fundraising climate in 2010 continued into 2011, a new report from the Tampa-based Florida Philanthropic Network finds.

According to Giving in Florida: The State of Philanthropy in the Sunshine State, 2012 Edition (20 pages, PDF), combined charitable giving by individuals, foundations, and corporations in the state dropped 8.6 percent between 2008 and 2009, following a double-digit decline the previous year. But after being flat in 2010, charitable giving in the state is estimated to have rebounded slightly in 2011.

In 2009, individuals, foundations, and corporations gave $14.2 billion — a significant drop from pre-recession giving levels. Three-quarters of that giving came from individuals, while nearly 10 percent came from foundations and corporate givers. According to the report, Florida foundations in 2010 devoted the largest share of their grant dollars (24.1 percent) to public affairs and social benefit organizations, with the next largest shares going to human services (16.8 percent), health (16.6 percent, and arts and culture (14.2 percent). More than half (56.9 percent) of the grants awarded by foundations in the state went to organizations in other states.

"The recession appears to have had an even greater negative impact on charitable giving in Florida than in the country as a whole," said FPN president and CEO David Biemesderfer. "This is not surprising when you consider that Florida was hit harder by the recession than most others states. But there are early signs that Florida's charitable giving picture is improving."

"Florida's Charitable Giving Hit Hard by Recession, but Outlook Is Brighter." Florida Philanthropic Network Press Release 02/23/2012.