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U.S. charitable donations fell last year

Donations to charity fell to $499 billion last year, a 3.4% decrease from 2021, according to a report released on Wednesday by Giving USA. The decline was even more stark—10.5%—when accounting for inflation.

Every listed giving source declined in inflation-adjusted giving last year, with the largest decrease coming in gifts from individuals, which fell by 13.4%.

Charitable giving

Source: Giving USA

Economic headwinds are the most likely reason for this decline. The rise of interest rates, drop in the stock markets, and fears of a recession were front of mind for donors of all kinds. Unsurprisingly, the largest decline among individuals is from micro-donors, who give less than $100.

But there were some notable bright spots in Giving USA’s report. Donations to international affairs organizations increased by 10.9% as American donors responded to global events. Likewise, giving to foundations was up by 10.1% as accumulated savings were committed to philanthropic initiatives.

This year, the resilience of the U.S. economy, in particular the strong labor market, and the rebound of the stock market should provide a boost to giving.

We also look for foundations and donor-advised funds to play a larger role in giving, as high-net-worth individuals and corporations store away funds earmarked for future philanthropic endeavors.

Changes in giving type by recipient organization

Source: Giving USA

This article was written by Matt Haggerty and originally appeared on 2023-06-22.
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