Charitable Giving Show Modest Rise in 2010 After Two Years of Declines

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Giving USA An excerpt from the press release on the latest Giving USA study, considered one of the most important sources on charitable giving in the country, is below. Download an executive summary here. Edith Falk, Chair of Giving USA, is quoted below; she is also a Donors Forum Board Member and President and CEO of Campbell & Company, a Forum Partner.

Giving USA Foundation and its research partner, the Center of Philanthropy at Indiana University, today announced that total charitable contributions from American  individuals, corporations and foundations were an estimated $290.89 billion in 2010, up  from a revised estimate of $280.30 billion for 2009. The 2010 estimate represents growth of 3.8 percent in current dollars and 2.1 percent in inflation-adjusted dollars.

Our revised estimates show that 2008 and 2009 saw the largest drops in giving in more than 40 years as a result of the Great Recession, exceeding previous recessions' impact on giving. Despite the fragile economy recovery, though, Americans continued--and even increased--their support of organizations and causes that matter to them in 2010. The $10.59 billion increase in the estimated total suggests that giving is beginning to recover as the economy slowly climbs out of the recession.

A recent press release said this:

Total giving grew by 2.1 percent last year after adjusting for inflation. That's good news following a combined drop of over 13 percent in 2008 and 2009," said Patrick M. Rooney, Ph.D., executive director of the Center on Philanthropy. "But the sobering reality is that many nonprofits are still hurting, and if giving continues to grow at that rate, it will take five or six more years just to return to the level of giving we saw before the Great Recession.                                                    

Campbell & Company, a Donors Forum Partner, has webinar slides, a podcast, and other resources on Giving USA here.

Arabella Advisors, whose principals are Donors Forum Associate Members, has a webinar on Giving USA here.

- Lucy Williams, Communications and Development Volunteer