Taking Stock of Philanthropic Trends

Taking Stock of Philanthropic Trends

July 18, 2013 by jga_admin


by Kris Kindelsperger


July is a month when the staffs of many of our clients take well-deserved vacations or take advantage of the slightly slower pace to conduct staff retreats and plan for the coming year.

Many of us are using the time to reflect on the data from the Giving USA 2013 and the annual Voluntary Support of Education survey. Unlike the incomprehensible sudden fits and starts in gas prices (which may be impacting your summer vacation plans), both reports show a slow, but generally encouraging growth.

While not yet returning to pre-recession highs, philanthropic support has continued to grow in recent years and grew 4% in 2011. That’s not the impression one might get by listening to the business round up on the news or hearing the latest economic forecast.

One thing that particularly stuck me was that individuals still make up the overwhelming majority of philanthropic support. We always knew that individuals “lead the pack” in giving each year, but of the total $298.42 billion that was contributed in 2011 (Giving USA), individuals, family foundations, and gifts made through estates made up 88 percent of the total. That’s a truly amazing statistic.

As we take stock of the trends in philanthropy a moderate amount of enthusiasm is in order. Americans remain very philanthropic and generous in their support of all types of organizations. So as you enjoy your summer vacation, catch up on your backlogged reading list, and plan ahead, take heart that 2013 will likely be a strong philanthropic year.