The recession’s effect on total charitable giving may never be fully known because many donors don’t itemize contributions on their tax returns. Still, the economic downturn caused a bigger drop in total giving than was previously estimated, according to figures released this week by “Giving USA,“ the annual tally of American philanthropy.
The financial crisis and ensuing recession haven’t been kind to anyone. While we may never be able to accurately quantify the overall damage, the numbers are in for charitable giving. They are not good.
The Chronicle of Philanthropy offered some quantifiable perspective on the crisis in the non-profit sector over these past three years in an article titled, “Giving by the Rich Dropped $30-Billion During Recession.” Indeed, from 2007 to 2009 charitable giving dropped by some $31 billion amongst those with incomes of $200,000 or more according to recent data from the IRS. If you move to the other end and count individuals earning $100,000 or less annually, the charity deficit runs up another $4 billion or so.
Keep in mind, since these are IRS numbers, this only reflects actual charitable contributions for which deductions were taken. Ultimately, these numbers will be seen and felt by the non-profit sector, to include your favorite charities and those they serve.
The question remains regarding what will become of the non-profit sector in 2012, a timely question with the end-of-year and the season of charity on the horizon. A further question, then, is what do you plan for your charitable giving this year?
Reference: The Chronicle of Philanthropy (August 29, 2012) “Giving by the Rich Dropped $30-Billion During Recession”