giving 2012_sources

SOURCE: Giving USA Foundation™/GIVING USA 2013


The Giving USA Annual Report on Philanthropy was released on Tuesday, giving us the latest data on charitable giving trends for 2012.

In partnership with the Orange County Community Foundation and The Phoenix Philanthropy Group, OneOC hosted a "First Look" briefing at the data. Here are the takeaways:

By source of contributions:

  • Donations from foundations, corporations, and individuals totaled slightly more than $316 billion—up 3.5% from the previous year.  This is the third consecutive year that we have seen an increase in giving.

  • Individual giving remains the largest source of contributions, comprising 72% of all gifts.  Individual giving increased by $8.67 billion, or 3.9% from 2011, making it the single largest influence on the uptick in total giving for the year.

  • The sharpest growth in giving came from corporations, which increased by 12.2%.

  • Foundations increased their giving by 4.4%.

  • The only decline we saw this year was by bequests, which fell an estimated 7%.


By type of recipients:

  • Giving to arts, culture, and humanities grew the most, at 7.8% up from the previous year—this sharp increase suggests that donors are returning to their pre-recession giving priorities.

  • Giving to foundations was the only estimated decline in giving to any recipient type, with a 4.6% decrease.

  • After adjusting for inflation, religious organizations also saw a slight decrease, though it still attracts more contributions than any other cause at 32% of total giving.

  • Education saw a 7% increase in giving, which is largely attributed to the growth in giving to K-12 schools and community colleges.

  • Growth in giving to social-service and public benefit groups slowed, with an estimated increase of 2%.  A sense of economic stability, along with people returning to their pre-recession giving priorities, is attributed to the slowing of giving to this subsector compared with recent years.


After adjusting for inflation, donations from individuals, corporations and foundations are still 8.2% below their peak just before the recession started in 2007, when $344 billion was donated.  If growth continues at this rate, it will be approximately 6 more years before charities can expect to raise as much as they did before the economic crisis.

More and more, nonprofits are having to diversify their revenue sources with social enterprise models and programs.  OneOC offers a 2-part training on how to build a social enterprise—learn more at www.OneOC.org/training.

Download the Giving USA 2013 free report highlights or purchase the full report at www.givingUSAreports.org/2013.

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