US donors increasingly look overseas as overall giving rises

US charitable giving rose by $373.3 billion in 2015, with international causes seeing the biggest growth in donations.

The estimates, based on research conducted at Indiana University’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, show a rise of 4 per cent overall from 2014. The most spectacular jump is in giving to international affairs organizations with a 17.4 per cent rise in donations to $15.8 billion. Though the greatest proportional rise was in foundation giving, which rose 6.3 per cent from the previous year, individuals gave the lion’s share. They contributed $264.6 billion, 71 per cent of total donations.

This growth in overseas giving seems to be a response to international crises, including the Nepal earthquake, the Syrian refugee crisis and other well-publicized humanitarian disasters. US overseas giving has also been simplified by the so-called equivalency determination process, which determines whether grants can be made to overseas NGOs on the same terms as they can to domestic ones.

 
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