2016 Giving Outlook is Promising

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The recent Philanthropy Outlook released by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy shows giving is on the upswing and momentum is building.

Distribution of total giving, by source, for the years 2015 and 2016. Source: The Philanthropy Outlook 2015 & 2016. Click to view full size.

Distribution of total giving, by source, for the years 2015 and 2016 from The Philanthropy Outlook. Click to view full size.

Here’s a snapshot of the good news presented by the fundraising and philanthropy consulting firm, Marts & Lundy, in The Philanthropy Outlook: 2015 & 2016, based on U.S. donations made to U.S. charities.

Giving from all sources is expected to rise 4.8% this year and 4.9% in 2016.

The bigger perspective is that each year’s growth will exceed the total giving for the years after the Great Recession (3.1%) and the estimated long-term average for the 40-year trend in total giving for 1973-2013 (3.8%).

Giving by source

This giving prediction includes cash and non-cash donations made by individuals, estates and corporations, and grants made by foundations.

  • Giving by Foundations is expected to increase the most – by 7.2% in 2015 and 6.7% in 2016. One contributing factor for this increase is the above average growth in the S&P 500.
  • Giving by Corporations follows closely with a 6% rise in 2015 and 4.8% next year. In these two years, as companies hire more employees, growing payrolls may mean scaling back on philanthropy. But researchers say that as corporations save their profits, they give more philanthropically.
  • Giving by Individuals/Households is expected to increase 4.4% this year and 4.1% in 2016. This is more than one percent higher than the historical average—for a source that makes up around 70% of all giving.
  • Giving by Estates is predicted to rise by 2.7% in 2015 and by 6.3% next year. This giving fluctuates widely from year to year, varying mostly due to very large bequests made by a few estates in a given year.

phil_outlookThe report is valuable because it gives us a scientifically developed and tested look at charitable giving. It’s something that will be updated annually to help us forecast. (A bit of detail: The research team used econometric methodology, testing more than 16,000 combinations of variables that could influence each source of giving before ultimately identifying 10 key predictors.)

To get the full report and read more about conditions that affect the outlook: The Philanthropy Outlook: 2015 & 2016.

Interested in increasing philanthropy as a part of your business? Just contact us.

– Andrea Lloyd
Director of Programs

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