The recession has been over since mid-2009, but charities are just now catching up.
Total charitable giving of some $335 billion in 2013 approached the 2007 prerecession peak of $350 billion, adjusted for inflation, according to the new Giving USA 2014 report from Giving USA Foundation and its research partner, the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.
The 4.4% rise in giving last year over 2012 was the fourth consecutive year of increases in charitable donations, the report said.
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Giving by individuals was the single biggest contributor to the increase in 2013 over 2012, an increase of $9.7 billion in current dollars.
“We are seeing clear gains in the total amount given by individuals in the last couple of years,” Giving USA Foundation chairman L. Gregg Carlson said in a statement.
“In fact, the rise in contributions by individuals between 2011 and 2013 represents 73% of the growth in total giving during that period.”
Charitable donations in 2013 increased for three of the four sources of giving: bequests by 8.7% from $25.5 billion in 2012, foundations by 5.7% from $46.3 billion and individuals by 4.2% from $230.9 billion.
Only giving by corporations fell in 2013, by 1.9%, from $18.2 billion in 2012. This was the result of the slow 3.4% rate of growth in pretax corporate profits in 2013, according to the report.
Corporate giving as a percentage of corporate pre-tax profits was at 0.8% in 2013.
“With this decline, it makes clear how closely linked economic factors are to giving,” Carlson said.
Over the past five years, corporate giving has risen by 19.4%, compared with 12.3% for overall giving, the research showed. In 2012, soaring corporate profits pushed the rate to 16.9%. The 2012 jump in corporate giving may also explain why 2013 corporate giving appears subdued.