American donors gave $373.25 billion to charitable causes last year, the latest edition of Giving USA reported on Tuesday. Up 4.1 percent in current dollars from the 2014 total, the new numbers mark the nation’s second straight year of record-high generosity.
All four donor groups tracked by the report—living individuals, bequests, foundations, and corporations—upped their gifts (living individuals contributed the most, at $264.58 billion). Almost every issue area benefited from the rise, with gifts to religious causes (the largest recipient category, accounting for 32 percent of donations) up 2.6 percent, gifts to education up 8.8 percent, and gifts to human services up 4.2 percent. Only gifts to foundations dropped (by about 4 percent, to $42.26 billion). Combined growth for 2014 and 2015 now totals more than 10 percent, probably due in part to a healthier economy and stabilizing household finances nationwide.
A project of the Giving USA Foundation and the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, Giving USA has served as an annual snapshot of US philanthropy for more than 60 years and continues to rank among the sector’s most comprehensive reports. Read more in the Philanthropy News Digest.