Charitable Giving Season Part 2

Giving USA, an annual study on charitable giving conducted by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, reports that Americans donated $359 billion to charities in 2014. That is the highest annual total since the research was first conducted in 1955.  Which of the following gave the most to charities in 2014?

  1. Individuals
  2. Corporations
  3. Foundations
  4. Bequests


Answer:  a) According to the Indiana University study, individuals gave $258 billion or 72 percent of the total $359 billion donated to charity last year.  Foundations accounted for 15 percent of the total, bequests 8 percent, and corporations 5 percent.

Donations to charities have increased by almost 18 percent ($54 billion) since the depths of the recession in 2009. That is not only an indication that the economy has improved, but that people are doing better economically and feeling better about their economic future.

Where did the money go? Almost one-third ($115 billion) went to religious organizations, institutions and causes, $55 billion to education, $42 billion to human services, and $30 billion to health.

Donations to religion reached an all time high last year.  However, as a percentage of total charitable giving, donations to religion has fallen from 53 percent of the total in 1987 to 32 percent in 2014.