The full report of Giving USA was released last week, and it continues to provide valuable data on giving by individuals, foundations, estates (bequests) and corporations. The latest findings of Giving USA 2011: the Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2010 published by the Giving USA Foundation include:
• Total estimated charitable giving in the U.S. rose 3.8 percent in 2010, reflecting the modest economic recovery achieved that year
• Giving by individuals rose an estimated 2.7 percent
• Foundation giving remained steady, falling 0.2 percent. Family foundations provided approximately 48 percent of all grants by independent, community, and operating foundations
• Giving to international affairs rose an estimated 15.3 percent, the largest percentage increase of any subsector, in part due to various global political and humanitarian crises, specifically the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti.
The spike in aid to disaster relief is detailed in “Giving to International Affairs," which reveals that the change in charitable contributions to this subsector can be quite volatile, as it often fluctuates with crises such as natural disasters and famines. However, it does indicate that over the last 23 years, giving to this subsector has increased much faster than the average rate of inflation for this time period.
In 2010, aid to disaster relief was largely driven by donations immediately following the Haitian earthquake that leveled Port-au-Prince and left approximately 230,000 people dead. The report cites Charity Navigator’s statistic that Americans donated over $1.4 billion to earthquake relief and recovery, significantly higher than giving to any other single disaster that year. It also breaks down how people gave (39 percent gave in person, while 14 percent gave by text message) and where the money went ($479 million to the American Red Cross). Concerns as to how this money is being spent are also examined, and the report cites that only 38 percent of the $1.4 billion has been spent towards immediate recovery and rebuilding efforts.
Giving USA 2011 provides similar detailed analyses on giving to nine subsectors overall, including religion, human services, education, and the arts. It also provides references to all statistical assertions, and a detailed section on methodology that summarizes methods used and revises previous reports.
This useful and unique reference work is available at all Foundation Center libraries. We also keep older versions of the printed reports for historical research purposes; a librarian can assist you with these.
The Foundation Center
This post appeared originally on the Nonprofit Literature Blog.