Two thirds of American’s give to charity every year. In 2014 charities raised over $358 billion, a 7 percent increase, according to a new report by Giving USA. The report says this is the most amount of money that has been raised for charities in the last 60 years. About $255 billion was raised from individual donors, a 5.7 percent increase.
Prior to the recession in 2007, charities raised $355 billion overall. Essentially, it’s taken about seven years to recover from the bad economy. While nonprofit’s may be celebrating that donations are on the rise, charitable giving still only represents about 2 percent of the GDP, similar to the rates between 1999 and 2007.
All four sources that comprise total giving—individuals (72 percent of the total); corporations (5 percent); foundations (15 percent); and bequests (8 percent)—upped their 2014 donations to America’s 1-million-plus charities, says the report, which is the longest-running and most comprehensive of its kind in America, according to Giving USA.
2014 Charitable Giving by Source:
- Individual giving, $258.51 billion, increased 5.7 percent in current dollars (and 4.0 percent when inflation-adjusted) over 2013.
- Foundation giving, $53.97 billion, was 8.2 percent higher than 2013 (the increase was 6.5 percent when inflation-adjusted).
- Bequest giving, $28.13 billion, increased 15.5 percent (13.6 percent when inflation-adjusted) over 2013.
- Corporate giving, $17.77 billion, increased 13.7 percent (11.9 percent when inflation-adjusted) over 2013 giving.
2014 Charitable Giving by Vertical
What verticals did the donations go to?
- Religion—at $114.90 billion, 2014 giving increased 2.5 percent in current dollars, and a modest 0.9 percent when adjusted for inflation. Note, despite that 2014 donations reached a new high of $114.90 billion, and accounted for the largest percentage of donations, this vertical is continuing its 30-year downward slide as a share of total giving. In fact, it has dropped from 53 percent of all donations in 1987 to 32 percent of the total in 2014, said the report.
- Education—giving increased to $54.62 billion, 4.9 percent more in current dollars than the 2013 total. The inflation-adjusted increase was 3.2 percent. Note, giving to education continues to be strong, and to higher education in particular. Included in its 2014 total are several multi-million dollar gifts, including two of more than $100 million.
- Human Services—its $42.10 billion total was 3.6 percent higher, in current dollars, than in 2013. The inflation-adjusted increase was 1.9 percent.
- Health—the $30.37 billion 2014 estimate was 5.5 percent higher, in current dollars, than the 2013 estimate. When adjusted for inflation, the increase was 3.8 percent.
- Arts/Culture/Humanities—at an estimated $17.23 billion, growth in current dollars was 9.2 percent in 2014. When adjusted for inflation, the increase was 7.4 percent. This is one of the fastest growing vertical in terms of donations.
- Environment/Animals—The $10.50 billion estimate for 2014 was up 7.0 percent in current dollars, and 5.3 percent when adjusted for inflation, over 2013 giving. This is also one of the fastest growing verticals for raising money.
- Public-Society Benefit—the $26.29 billion estimate for 2014 increased 5.1 percent in current dollars over 2013. When adjusted for inflation, the increase was 3.4 percent.
- Foundations—at an estimated $41.62 billion in 2014, giving grew 1.8 percent in current dollars and 0.1 percent when adjusted for inflation.
- International Affairs—the $15.10 billion estimate for 2014 decreased 2.0 percent, in current dollars, from 2013. The drop was 3.6 percent when adjusted for inflation.