Charitable Giving Bouncing Back, Slower for Religious Organizations

Charitable giving by Americans continues to rise according to Giving USA 2014: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2013.  Unfortunately, charitable contributions to religious organizations have not kept up the pace.

Overall contributions from individuals, corporations and foundations totaled $335 billion in 2013, a 3 percent increase over 2012, when adjusted for inflation, according to the report.

In the last decade, total giving has increased by over $97 billion or over $34 billion when adjusted for inflation. If the total giving continues to grow at the current, inflated adjusted rates, within 1- 2 years, the total giving could return to $349.50 billion—the peak level realized in 2007, according to the report.

Key Findings on Giving in 2013 Include:

·         Giving to religion continues to slow; this is the result of declining religious affiliation and attendance, and increased giving to religious-oriented charitable organizations categorized within the other subsectors.

·         Giving to education grew the most in 2013, at 8.9%.  This growth was driven by increases in giving to higher education and K-12 schools, among other types of education programs and organizations.

·         Giving to public society benefit, arts, and environment, animal and health organizations was strong in 2013, ranging from 6% to 8.5%.

·         Giving to international affairs slowed in 2013 due to fewer disaster-relief contributions compared with prior years, the decline in giving by corporations, and changes in donor giving preferences.

Although Giving USA shows that giving to religious organizations continues to slow, 24% of U.S. Catholics say they have increased their giving from last year, according to a recent nationwide survey on Catholic giving patterns, which was commissioned by FADICA. To read more, click here.

Read the Giving USA 2014 Executive Summary or click here to order the full report.