Annual total giving in 2017 is up by an inflation-adjusted three per cent to a record $410 billion, although contributions as a percentage of GDP stayed at around two percent according to The Giving USA 2018 report.
It is claimed that many factors likely contributed to this, including a rising stock market and a widening wealth gap. Part of this is due to the growth of high dollar and mega-gift givers. The report reveals that in 2016, Giving USA added $1.495 billion in mega-gifts made by individuals and $400 million in mega-gifts made by bequest. For 2017, Giving USA added $4.1 billion in mega-gifts made by individuals and $850 million in mega-gifts made by bequest.
The names of many of those donors are familiar: Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan gave $1.9 billion to the Chan Zuckerberg Foundation; Florence Irving gave $600 million to Columbia University; Michael Dell gave a billion to his foundation; and Henry Hillman’s estate donated $800 million to the eponymous family foundation in Pittsburgh.
At the same time, corporate giving has apparently increased by eight per cent, though as a proportion of pretax profits—which are, themselves, are at near-record levels. Gifts to public-society benefit corporations, which includes donor-advised funds, increased by 5.5 per cent.
Any use of this data requires the following full citation: Giving USA 2018: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2017. Researched and written by Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. Sponsored by Giving USA Foundation, a public service initiative of The Giving Institute. © 2018 Giving USA Foundation™