Moderate overall increases in charitable giving last year suggest that Americans are feeling better about their personal financial situations and philanthropy continues to be a core value worthy of their support, according to Giving USA’s annual report on philanthropy, released Wednesday.
Total charitable giving increased by 4% in 2011 from 2010, to an estimated $298.4 billion, the report said.
Giving by individuals was up by 3.9% last year, to approximately $217.8 billion. Bequests grew by 12.2% to $24.4 billion last year, with 85% of this amount coming from itemized estates.
However, some of the shine comes off this good news when the figures are adjusted for inflation. Overall giving grew by 0.9%, individual giving by 0.8% and bequests by 8.8%.
As a result, the value of the increased dollars to charities was about on par with the dollars they had received in 2010, the report said.