On Monday (6/23), Giving USA issued a press release providing an overview of this year’s annual survey. The report is based on a survey of 366 charities conducted by the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University. It is considered the authoritative resource on this subject. Since it has been conducted annually in a consistent manner it also provides excellent data about trends in giving.
The biggest finding is that charitable giving in the United States exceeded $300 billion in 2007 for the first time in history and that giving increased in every subsector studied. Giving USA 2008 suggests that a strong start to the economy in 2007 helped lift giving but there is concern among charities that such issues as rising prices and the housing and mortgage crises will affect 2008 giving.
One interesting finding is that giving by living individuals increased 2.7 percent in 2007, and at $229 Billion, represents nearly three-quarters of all giving in the U.S. But, charitable bequests are estimated to be $23.15 billion - a much higher increase of 6.9 percent. This would seem to indicate the growing interest by charities in planned giving, including wills, designated annuities and other creative ideas is taking traction.
Unfortunately the full report is pricey with various options including hard copy book, ebook, presentation only, CD of presentation, newsletter, etc. The price range is about $70 - $270 depending on what you sign up for.
In the interest of transparency I must say that this blog post is based on the press release and other news reports. I have not read the full report – I am just providing an overview here. You can visit their website for purchase details.
Marion Conway Consulting