I attended the St. Paul stop on Giving USA’s 2014 road show this morning. There, Adam Wilhelm of Campbell & Company updated us on 2013 national giving trends, which can be summarized as good news.
According to Wilhelm and Giving USA 2014, total charitable giving in the U.S. rose 3% (adjusted for inflation) between 2012 and 2013 to $335.17 billion. This is an increase of 12% since the start of the Great Recession, and Wilhelm predicts the U.S. will pass the pre-recession high of $350 billion in charitable giving in a year or two.
Wilhelm says, “Wealthy individuals are feeling good about their accumulated wealth, so it is a good time to talk to them about their giving.”
According to Giving USA, wealthy donors are giving to their favorite charities — including universities, hospitals and arts institutions — so overall giving in those areas is up. Meanwhile, giving to social service and church groups — more dependent on the financially squeezed middle-class — is flat.
- Giving by individuals — the largest slice of the pie at 72% — totaled $240.60 billion, up 2.7% over 2012.
- Giving by foundations — now 15% of total giving — was up 4.2% to $48.96 billion. This increase was driven in part by a 10.5% increase in giving by community foundations.
- Giving by bequest through a will or estate plan — 8% of the total — was up 7.2% to $27.73 billion.
- Only corporate giving — 5% of the total — was down 3.2% to $17.88 billion, the result of a slow rate of growth in pre-tax corporate profits last year. Corporate trends of increased in-kind and global giving continue.
What Organizations are Benefiting?
- Religion was the top recipient of gifts, but total giving to religion continues to slide. It went down slightly in 2013 to 31% of the total or $105.5 billion, which represents the lowest percent given to religion in 40 years.
- Overall giving to Education increased by 7.4% (2013’s largest increase) to $52.07 billion.
- Giving to Human Services was fairly flat, increasing by .7% to $41.51 billion.
- Giving to Health was up by 4.5% to $31.86 billion.
- Giving to Public Affairs/Society Benefit (which includes giving to donor-advised funds) was up 7% to $23.89 billion.
- Giving to Arts, Culture and Humanities was up by 6.3% to $16.66 billion.
- Giving to International Affairs fell to $14.93 billion (due to fewer disasters worldwide in 2013).
- Giving to Animal Welfare and Environment increased to $9.72 billion (due to larger investments in climate change and anti-fracking initiatives).
Takeaways from event panelists included the following:
- Individual giving is a growth market. Giving by other sectors is not growing as quickly.
- More and more often, individual donors are researching charities and want to see the impact of their gifts.
- If your organization is not doing planned giving, it should at least be doing bequests. “It’s easy!”
Visit Giving USA for much more information or to purchase Giving USA 2014.
For more information on Minnesota giving, visit mcf.org/research
- Susan Stehling, MCF communications associate