Giving by individuals in Oregon remained flat on a year-over-year basis in 2016, a report from the Oregon Community Foundation finds.
According to Giving in Oregon 2018, Oregonians gave 2.22 percent of their income to charity in 2016, the most recent year for which income tax return data is available. For the first time in a decade, however, the state's giving rate fell below the national rate — which rose from 2.19 percent in 2015 to 2.31 percent in 2016 — after consistently exceeding it between 2006 and 2014.
In Oregon, the giving rate remained essentially flat between 2015 and 2016 across all income levels, including households earning under $100,000 (1.39 percent compared with 1.4 percent in 2015); between $100,000 and $200,000 (2.1 percent and 2.13 percent); and more than $200,000 (3.6 percent and 3.66 percent). In contrast, the uptick in the national rate was consistent with the behavior of those at the top of the income ladder, with households making more than $200,000 a year increasing their giving from 3.2 percent of income in 2015 to 3.5 percent in 2016.
The report also found that nonprofits in Oregon reported a total of $2.8 billion in donations and grants from individuals, government, and foundations in 2016, with education topping the list of issue areas ($1.11 billion, or 40.75 percent of total contributions), followed by philanthropy ($330 million; 10.77 percent), human services ($261 million; 9.28 percent), and health ($232 million; 8.16 percent). Since 2010, the dollar amount of contributions to nonprofits in the state has increased nearly 50 percent.
"Working together with donors, community leaders, volunteers, and thousands of nonprofits, we see the impact of those philanthropic investments, and how vital the work of Oregon's nonprofits are to ensure expanded opportunities for Oregonians in communities that need it most," said Max Williams, president and CEO of the Oregon Community Foundation, which distributes $100 million annually in grants and scholarships.