Charitable Giving for U.S. Health Care Rises a Tepid $241 Million in 2008, While Canadian Charitable Giving Plunges 13 Percent, Association for Healthcare Philanthropy Reports
WASHINGTON, D.C., October 26, 2009 — Confirming the full impact of the global recession, philanthropic giving for health care in the United States grew a tepid 2.9 percent -- or about $241 million – to $8.6 billion in 2008, while similar donations in Canada fell by a dramatic 12.9 percent, to total $1.07 billion, according to a new Report on Giving issued today by the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP).
“The poor overall results for health care philanthropy shown by the AHP Report on Giving are a wakeup call for the Obama Administration and Congress,” said William C. McGinly, Ph.D., CAE, president of the AHP. “The hit that wealthy individuals have taken in the total worth of their portfolios and holdings during the recession takes huge assets off the table and out of the giving equation. Compounding this scenario would be the Obama administration and Congress’ attempts to limit the charitable deduction write off, thus dampening wealthy donors’ incentive to give and further reducing charitable contributions to all philanthropic organizations.”
McGinly said, “While technically the recession is or will soon be over, AHP membership feels its impact will continue to impair giving to health care institutions for the near future.”
Grateful patients, businesses, foundations and other U.S. donors made $8.588 billion in charitable contributions to health care facilities and organizations in 2008, the AHP’s Report on Giving determined. This 2.9 percent increase was about half the growth rate achieved in 2007, when donations totaled $8.347 billion. Most disturbing was the fact that total pledges for charity fell 6.2 percent in the latest year, while planned gifts secured but not paid fell almost 13 percent.
Accounting for much of last year’s slight advance in giving was the fact that most nonprofit hospitals and health care systems in the U.S. closed their books before the last quarter of 2008, when U.S. gross domestic product plunged more than five percent. Institutions that closed their books on Dec. 31, 2008, actually saw a 0.2 percent dip in annual giving.