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Thursday, June 20, 2013
Current State of Giving
Americans donated $316 billion to charitable causes in 2012, a 3.5% increase from 2011, a new report by the Giving USA Foundation found. But while charitable donations to education increased 7% to $41 billion, religious donations dropped slightly (by 0.2%) to $101.54 billion. “Americans continue to be the most generous people in the world, despite discretionary income percentages nearing all-time lows,” says Eileen Heisman, CEO of the National Philanthropic Trust. But donors are writing the checks to different recipients.
That’s not to say that donations to religious institutions have dried up. In fact, they accounted for 32% of all charitable donations. But that’s down from around 38% a decade ago, according to Giving USA. And Heisman expects that number to continue to fall. “I don’t think it will plummet to zero,” she says. “At some point, it will level out; the question is when.” But there’s reason to think the next generation may be even less generous to religious institutions. One-in-three people under 30 had no religious affiliation versus just one-in-10 of those 65 and over, a 2012 Pew Research Center report found. Among all U.S. adults, 20% report having no religious affiliation, up from 15% in 2007._______________