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June 18, 2019

Charitable Giving Edges Out a New High of $427.71 Billion Despite a Mixed Year for Philanthropy

Charitable Giving Hits a New High of $427.71 Billion
Despite a Mixed Year for Philanthropy

More reports and studies on the various facets of philanthropy are published today than ever before, but Giving USA remains the most quoted and respected source for establishing the overall yearly total for the field. It provides the number that most other studies quote and that big news outlets report.

The good news in the latest report, released on June 18, 2019, is that the $427.71 billion raised in 2018 is the largest amount of contributions ever reported by Giving USA. By comparison, this dollar figure is greater than the GDP of most countries, according to the most recent figures.

The bad news is that this record-breaking amount is only a slight 0.7% increase over 2017 numbers. Last year’s report listed the overall contributions at $410.02 billion, but that figure has been revised up to $424.74 billion. When adjusted for inflation that total becomes $433.79 total giving for 2017, making today’s 2018 total a drop of 1.7%. Compared with recent year-to-year increases, at the very least, the new report suggests that growth has slowed and only time will tell if this is a one year blip or the beginning of a larger trend.

It is important, however, to consider that a number of factors contributed to making 2018 an uncertain year for philanthropy. In particular, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act going into effect may have encouraged some people to hold off on giving. In the middle of December 2018, the biggest month of the year for philanthropy, the stock market saw considerable volatility ahead of the government shutdown.

Given these circumstances that increased the complexity of the philanthropic in landscape in 2018, even getting close to the 2017 total with a 0.7% increase in nominal value may have, in fact, been the best result for which anyone could have realistically hoped.

The infographic below provided by Benefactor Group highlights the findings of the report.

2019 Giving USA Infographic Benefactor
Unable to view image? click here.

Other posts you might be interested in:

2017 Charitable Giving Exceeded 400 Billion

2017 Charitable Giving Exceeded 400 Billion

Charitable Giving Reached Record High in 2016

Charitable Giving Reached Record High in 2016

Trends in Donor-Centered Philanthropy

Trends in Donor-Centered Philanthropy

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