April 25, 2013

What’s in Store for Charities This Year? Atlas of Giving Looks Ahead

First-quarter giving begins smartly, up 7.1% over 2012

Charitable giving in the U.S. will total $383 billion in 2013, up 3.9% from 2012, according to a new forecast.

The Atlas of Giving said in its latest report that year-to-date contributions through March amounted to $97 billion, an increase of 7.1% from March 2012.

It tempered this good news with the prospect of a steady decline, starting in the third quarter.

“Caution is advised in planning for charitable growth, especially if your fiscal year begins in the summer months,” the report said.

Last year, total charitable giving amounted to $369 billion, an increase of 6.7% over 2011.

Giving proportions by sector will change only slightly this year, according to the report:

  • Religion, the largest giving sector at 35%, will drop from 36% in 2012
  • Education, 16%, same as 2012
  • Human/disaster services, 12%, up from 11%
  • Health, 8%, down from 9%
  • Social benefit, 8%, same
  • International, 5%, same
  • Arts, 4%, same
  • Nature/environment, 2%, same
  • Unallocated 10%, up from 9%

Charitable gift sources will hold steady in 2013, unchanged since 2011. Individuals, whose contributions account for three-quarters of all giving, will give $286 billion, the study forecast. This is an increase of 1.2% over last year.

Foundations, 13% of giving, will contribute $52 billion, up 2.2% over 2012. Bequests, accounting for 7% of giving, will amount to $26 billion, up 1.1%. And corporate philanthropy, 5% of giving, will chip in $19 billion, up 1.5%.

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Read Chasing Big Donations? Think Local on AdvisorOne.

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