Did you know that Charitable giving in the USA is experiencing an upward trend?
According to Giving USA 2017, Annual Report on Philanthropy, charitable giving has experienced an upward trend since 1976, with the exception of just three years: 1987, 2008, and 2009.
In 2016, Americans gave $390 billion to charitable causes, and for the third consecutive year, charitable contributions reached record levels. This important amount of money, can be interpreted as a sign of support to the enormous contribution that charities make to our society. Charitable giving delivers essential services that positively impact the lives of many people, such as building hospitals, schools, orphanages and religious centers. Additionally, charities are a fundamental partner to the government in many ways, including personal education, decreasing poverty, and reducing social diseases.
Historically, Religious groups have received the largest share of the charitable giving in the USA, this tendency remained true in 2016. With a 32% of all donations, or $122.94 billion, went to Religious organizations. The distribution of the charitable donations was: 15% of the total donations went to Education, 12% to Human services, 8% to Health, 8% to Public-Society benefit, 6% to International charity, 5% to Arts, Culture and Humanities, and 3% to Environment / Animals.
Traditionally, donations from individuals were over two-thirds of all donations. If gifts from bequests are added, then the category accounts for nearly 80% of all giving. This means that the donating public, not big foundations or corporations, is responsible for the vast majority of annual donations. As in previous years, in 2016, the majority of the donations came from individuals. Specifically, individuals gave $281.86 billion, representing a 72% of all giving. The distribution of donors was: 15% of all donations were given by Foundations (including grants made by independent, community, and operating foundations), 8% of the total donations were given by bequest, and 5% of all donations were made by corporations.