Giving USA Foundation (TM) and its research partner, the Center on 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.
Giving to religion, at 35 percent of the total, remains the largest share of all contributions, with an estimated $100.63 billion. The estimated increase in 2010 was 0.8 percent in current dollars, with a small decline of the same amount, 0.8 percent, in inflation-adjusted dollars.
Giving to public-society benefit organizations was an estimated $24.24 billion, an increase of 6.2 percent in current dollars (4.5 percent in inflation-adjusted dollars). The majority of charitable gifts made to organizations in the public-society benefit subsector go to funds, such as United Ways, Jewish Federations, and freestanding donor-advised funds. This subsector received an estimated 8 percent of total charitable dollars in 2010. The increase in giving to this subsector can in part be attributed to growth in freestanding donor-advised funds; Fidelity® Charitable Gift Fund, for example, reported contributions above $1.6 billion in 2010, which was a 42 percent increase over 2009.
Key findings include:
- Giving by individuals, which is estimated at $211.77 billion for 2010 (2.7 percent increase from 2009, 1.1 percent in inflation-adjusted dollars) includes estimated amounts for charitable deductions claimed on tax returns filed for 2010 and charitable giving by individuals who did not itemize deductions. This figure also includes an estimate for “mega-gifts,” which are gifts large enough to move the percentage change of total giving by one percent from one year to the next.
- Giving by charitable bequest is estimated at $22.83 billion for 2010.
- Foundation grantmaking reached an estimated $41.00 billion in 2010, according to estimates provided by the Foundation Center. Of that amount, approximately $19.50 billion was given by family foundations.
- Combined charitable giving by individuals, bequest, and family foundations amounted to an estimated $254.10 billion in 2010, or about 87 percent of the total.
- Charitable giving by corporations is estimated to be $15.29 billion in 2010. This includes an estimate provided by the Foundation Center of $4.70 billion in grants and gifts made by corporate foundations to recipient organizations and individuals.
In addition to charitable giving to religion and public-society benefit organizations, giving to other subsectors show:
- Education-related organizations received the second-highest share of charitable dollars in 2010, with an estimated 14 percent of the total.
- Charitable gifts to grantmaking independent, community, and operating foundations are estimated to be the third-highest ranking recipient category in 2010, receiving an estimated 11 percent of all charitable dollars. This share of gifts received was a small decline from 12 percent in 2009.3
- The human services subsector includes organizations that received donations in order to respond to those affected by the economic crisis, especially by providing emergency basic needs services. This subsector also includes 75 percent of the organizations that received donations for relief and support efforts following the Haitian earthquake in January 2010. Despite donations given for these purposes, this subsector is estimated to have received the same share of all donations as in 2009, at 9 percent.
- Health organizations received an estimated 8 percent of charitable dollars given in 2010.
- Arts, culture, and humanities organizations received an estimated 5 percent of donations in 2010, a slightly larger share than the 4 percent received in 2009.
- Organizations in the international affairs subsector received an estimated 5 percent of total charitable dollars given in 2010.
- Environmental and animal organizations received an estimated 2 percent of charitable dollars given in 2010.
- Individuals received an estimated 2 percent of total charitable dollars in 2010. These donations were mostly in the form of medicines provided by operating foundations sponsored by pharmaceutical companies.
Here’s more on Giving USA 2011 on eJewish Philanthropy.