Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Charity "Handle" $307.65 Billion in 2008

Donations to charitable causes
in the United States
$307.65 billion in 2008.

The sky is not falling. Henny Penny can go back to picking up corn."
Del Martin, Chair Giving USA Foundation

Though 2008's estimate of giving posted an inflation-adjusted 5.7% decline from 2007's $314 billion this is a very good number in the sense that the rope broke on the drop through the gallows. As I blogged last week " ... The free fall and economic collapse didn't hit big until the last quarter of 2008. So the data for 2008 will not reflect the full damage; 2009 will." 2008 is the first decline in giving in current dollars since 1987 and only the second since Giving USA began publishing annual reports in 1956. The full report on philanthropy was released today for the 54th year by Giving USA Foundation [TM] and can be purchased on-line at www.givingusa.org.

As always individuals gave the most money (75% from the living and 8% from the actuarially matured); foundations came in at 13% and corporations, 5%. Bequest giving may be higher than shown because it only includes estates large enough to exceed the estate tax exemption. Also I think corporate giving is under-reported because it has no way to measure cause related marketing or gifts-in-kind, both increasing sources of company donations.

On the where-it-goes side religion as always is a plurality - in 2008 35%; education 13%; gifts to grant-making foundations 11%. The remaining 41% of contributions - all in single digits - went to arts, environment, health, human services, social betterment and international affairs.

I'm just showing a little garter here. The full report is very much worth reading.

"Go back to basics. Tell your story honestly and positively."
Nancy Raybin, Chair Giving Institute

No comments: