The 2014 edition of Giving USA is out, and the news is positive. The pre-recession high for giving was recorded at $349.5 billion (2007). For 2013, Giving USA has us at $335.17 billion. Not too shabby.
Sources of Giving
As always, individuals are the greatest source of gifts. In 2013, 80% came from individuals (72% in direct gifts and 8% in planned gifts). Per capita giving by individuals reached $1,016 and average U.S. household giving reached $2,974.
The remaining 20% came from private foundations (15%) and corporations (5%). If you are overly reliant on corporate, foundation and government funding, you will continue to be on shaky ground.
As reported, if total giving continues to grow at current rates, it could take just one or two more years for total giving to return to its peak level of $349.5 billion.
Giving increased in all areas but one: corporate giving declined by an estimated 1.9%
Bequest giving showed the greatest gain at 8.7%. Your most loyal donors at all giving levels are great candidates for deferred giving. If you are not having that conversation with these donors, you should seriously consider doing that.
Recipients of Giving
Education, human services, giving to foundations, health and environment/animals have all surpassed inflation-adjusted pre-recession giving levels, with education showing the greatest growth.
The most significant decline was in giving to religion. I remember when giving to religion exceeded 50% of total giving; in 2013, religion giving was at 31% of total giving. The study attributes this to declining attendance and religious affiliation and increased giving to religious-oriented organizations that are included in the other areas of giving.
If you would like to receive Giving USA 2014 Highlights at no cost, you may download the document here.