Americans donated an estimated $358 billion to charity in 2014, edging past the 2007 record of $355 billion, Giving USA reported Tuesday.
Charitable donations last year were 7.1% higher in current dollars, and 5.4% when adjusted for inflation, than the revised estimate of $340 billion donated in 2013, the report said.
Giving has now increased five years in a row, on average 5.5% annually in current dollars, or an inflation-adjusted 3.4%.
The new report, which was published by Giving USA Foundation and researched and written by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, broke out the four sources of giving in 2014:
- Individual giving (72% of total): $258.5 billion, 5.7% increase over 2013
- Foundation giving (15% of total): $54 billion, 8.2% higher than in 2013
- Bequest giving (8% of total): $28 billion, 15.5% increase over 2013
- Corporate giving (5% of total): $17.8 billion, 13.7% more than in 2013
Giving USA Foundation chairman W. Keith Curtis noted that growth in charitable giving was across the board, even though criteria used to make decisions about giving differed for each source.
“Individual giving [for example] is affected by available disposable income at the household level, wealth and growth in the S&P 500,” Curtis said in a statement. “All three increased last year as did the amount people spent in general—not just on charitable donations.
“Corporate giving decisions, on the other hand, have historically been driven by changes in pretax profits and GDP. Other factors might be affecting how much they donate; time — and further research — will tell.”
Giving and Receiving
According to the report, several donors made gifts in excess of $200 million last year, including one of nearly $2 billion.
“The majority of these ‘mega-gifts’ were given by relatively young tech entrepreneurs,” Patrick Rooney, associate dean for academic affairs and research at the Lilly School of Philanthropy, said in the statement.