Ovation: Amount Of Charitable Giving Increased In 2011.
I like to think that I do my part when it comes to charitable giving. My household makes contributions to several different charities each year, maintains memberships in a few organizations, participates in fundraisers and donates items to Goodwill. While we wish we could do more, we take pride in the fact that we’re able to give at all. I’ve mentioned, and advocated on behalf of, several worthwhile causes on this blog as well. (See “Ovations”)
Americans, as a whole, are said to have given a total of nearly $347 billion dollars to charity in 2011. This represents a 7.5% increase over 2010 giving and may have been fueled by strong stock market performance in the first half, low-interest rates, a somewhat improving economy, modest inflation, and aggressive solicitation resulting from natural disasters including Japan’s earthquake and tsunami, New Zealand’s earthquake, flooding in Australia and a twister outbreak in the Southeastern U.S. that also resulted in record floods.
While 2011’s giving included donations to education, human needs/disaster relief groups, churches and other types of organizations, the increase, however, was not enjoyed by all nonprofits. Organizations that rely on many small gifts from many small donors, rather than fewer large donations, are still thought to be impacted by the effects of continuing high unemployment.
It is my hope that, in 2012 an beyond, givers will continue to give out of the kindness of their hearts and not primarily in response to natural disaster. It shouldn’t require a calamity for us to give, even just a little, to the less fortunate among us.