September 25, 2017
 
Individual, Foundation, Corporate Giving All Rose Last Year

June 20, 2017 — Charitable giving from individuals, foundations, and corporations all increased last year, while gifts by estates decreased sharply, according to a newly completed analysis from the Giving USA Foundation.

The rise in total giving was spurred largely by giving from individuals, which increased nearly 4% in 2016, according to Giving USA 2017: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2016.

Giving to all nine major categories of recipient organizations grew, according to the report, making 2016 just the sixth time in the past 40 years that this has occurred. The nine categories are religion; education; human services; giving to foundations; health; public-society benefit; arts, culture and humanities; international affairs; and environment and animals.

“This report tells us that Americans remained generous in 2016, despite it being a year punctuated by economic and political uncertainty,” said Aggie Sweeney, chair of the Giving USA Foundation. “We saw growth in every major sector, indicating the resilience of philanthropy and diverse motivations of donors.”

While the political climate may play a role in some donors’ decisions to give to charity, research conducted by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and other philanthropy researchers has long demonstrated that aggregate giving trends are influenced by large-scale economic factors, the foundation noted.

Following are key findings about giving by source:
  • Giving by foundations rose more slowly in 2016 compared to the stronger increases seen in recent years.

  • Giving by individuals grew at a higher rate than the other sources of giving, outpacing giving by foundations and by corporations, and offsetting the sharp decline in bequests.

  • Corporate giving increased modestly in 2016, in the wake of slower GDP growth and little movement in the share of pre-tax profits directed to giving.

  • Giving by bequest fell sharply, following two years of strong growth. Gifts in the form of bequests frequently fluctuate from year to year and are less influenced by economic factors.
Giving by individuals totaled an estimated $281.86 billion, rising 3.9% (2.6% adjusted for inflation) in 2016

Giving by foundations increased 3.5% (2.2% adjusted for inflation) to an estimated $59.28 billion in 2016, while Giving by corporations is estimated to have increased by 3.5% (2.3% adjusted for inflation) in 2016, totaling $18.55 billion.

Giving by bequest totaled an estimated $30.36 billion in 2016, declining 9.0% (10.1% adjusted for inflation) from 2015

Following are highlights on gifts received by charitable sector:
  • Religion: Up 3.0% (1.8% adjusted for inflation), with an estimated $122.94 billion in contributions.

  • Education: Up 3.6% (2.3% adjusted for inflation) to $59.77 billion.

  • Human Services: Up 4.0% (2.7% adjusted for inflation), totaling $46.80 billion.

  • Foundations: Up 3.1% (1.8% adjusted for inflation), rising to $40.56 billion.

  • Health Organizations: Up 5.7% (4.4% adjusted for inflation), to $33.14 billion.

  • Public-Society Benefit Organizations: Up 3.7% (2.5% adjusted for inflation) to $29.89 billion.

  • Arts, Culture, and Humanities: Up 6.4% (5.1% adjusted for inflation) to $18.21 billion.

  • International Affairs: Up $22.03 billion in 2016, an increase of 5.8% (4.6% adjusted for inflation).

  • Environment and Animal Organizations: Up 7.2% (5.8% adjusted for inflation) to $11.05 billion.

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