Charitable giving in the US rose to above $400 billion in 2017

Charitable giving in the US rose to above $400 billion last year, according to the Giving USA Foundation.

Total charitable giving by American individuals, bequests, foundations and corporations to US charities rose to an estimated $410.02 billion in 2017, up 5.2 percent (3.0 percent adjusted for inflation) compared to the revised total of $389.64 contributed in 2016.

The foundation said the rise in giving to over $400 billion was driven by “a booming stock market and a strong economy.”

“Americans’ record-breaking charitable giving in 2017 demonstrates that even in divisive times our commitment to philanthropy is solid,” said Aggie Sweeney, chair of the Giving USA Foundation, in a statement.

“Contributions went up nearly across the board, signaling that Americans seem to be giving according to their beliefs and interests, which are diverse and wide-ranging.”

Giving from all source rose.

Individuals contributed 5 percent more in 2017 and accounted for 70 percent of total giving. Charitable giving by foundations rose 6 percent to $66.90 billion in 2017, while giving by corporations rose 8 percent to $20.77 billion.

“Giving to nearly all categories of charities experienced significant growth, and giving to foundations achieved a double-digit growth rate,” said Una Osili, Ph.D., associate dean for research and international programs at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.

“Economic growth contributed to these widespread increases in 2017, and there is heightened interest in the overall economic environment and other factors that can help nonprofits sustain this growth over time.”