Atlas of Giving: U.S. Charitable Giving Tops $450 Billion in 2014
Mitchell says the impact of donor-advised funds on giving is enormous and growing. "In 2014, donor-advised funds accounted for $29.4 billion in giving. That's 6.4 percent of all giving in the U.S." Mitchell noted.
While donations to churches and religious causes remains the largest giving category, representing one third of all gifts, giving to religious organizations grew at a rate of only 6.4 percent in 2014. Comparatively, gifts to human services/disaster relief organizations increased 12.7 percent, while gifts to environmental causes and educational institutions rose 11.8 percent and 11.5 percent, respectively.
The initial forecast for giving in 2015 is far less positive. The Atlas projects that giving could actually drop from 2014 levels by as much as 3.2 percent. The last time total annual giving fell was in 2009, when recessionary conditions brought about a 5.8 percent decline from the 2008 total. The forecast cites an anticipated stock market correction, along with an expected rise in interest rates in the second half of 2015 as primary drivers of an upcoming downturn in giving.
Global economic factors are also expected to negatively impact 2015 giving. Weakening economies in Germany, France and Italy could negatively impact many American corporations, and rising geostrategic competition from Asia may weaken the value of some U.S. companies, putting pressure on American jobs and compensation levels.
The Atlas of Giving reports and forecasts U.S. charitable giving on a monthly basis by charitable sector, gift source and all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia.
The full Atlas of Giving report on 2014 giving and forecast for 2015 is available at no charge at www.atlasofgiving.com.