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
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