Tags: charity | nonprofit | donations | taxes | great recession

Fewer Americans Donating Money to Charity

glass jar filled with coins and a piece of paper labeling it "donate"
(Dreamstime)

By    |   Friday, 26 June 2020 11:20 AM

Less Americans are giving their money to charity, Business Insider reports.

Philanthropy experts say recent donations to nonprofits have come from the ultra-wealthy, not the average American.

They say that is a shift in how hospitals, universities, religious institutions, museums and other nonprofits have been historically funded.

"We call this 'dollars up, and donors down,'" Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy Associate Dean Una Osili said during a virtual press conference hosted by the Giving USA Foundation.

The number of Americans who donated money to charitable causes began to decline during the Great Recession.

Osili said people were slow to return to giving even as the economy recovered.

But donation totals have remained constant or even gone up. Experts say that is because ultra-rich donors began to fill in the gaps.

Americans contributed a near-record $449.64 billion to U.S. charities last year, according to Giving USA's Annual Report on Philanthropy. The June 16 report indicated that 2019's total rose 4.2% over 2018's total. 2017 still holds the record for the most amount of charitable giving in a year.

"That is really a trend that has been accelerated by the Great Recession and one that we're concerned that tax reform passed in 2017 may accelerate further,” Osili said.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act reduced Americans' tax bills an average of $1,260, but one of the biggest changes essentially eliminated the need for taxpayers to itemize charitable donations. The law raised the standard deduction for charitable contributions.

What 2020 donations will look like is unclear as the country faces COVID-19 and ongoing protests calling for racial justice.

Billionaires have recently faced backlash for their charitable donations. Business Insider reports that Amazon’s Jeff Bezos was ripped for donating only $690,000 to the Australian bushfire relief. Several museums announced they will stop accepting donations from companies with ties to OxyContin money.

Giving USA said the economic fallout, due to the coronavirus pandemic, could also impact the amount of donations in 2020.

But Osili said throughout history Americans tend to be the most generous during a time of need.

"The evidence that we've seen so far suggests that there has been a tremendous outpouring of support from all types of donors in response to these shocks that we're seeing across the nation and globally. I tend to be an optimist by nature, and so I think this is a time where we have a lot to learn," Osili said. "Philanthropy is not static."

© 2020 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


   
1Like our page
2Share
US
Less Americans are giving their money to charity, Business Insider reports.Philanthropy experts say recent donations to nonprofits have come from the ultra-wealthy, not the average American. They say that is a shift in how hospitals, universities, religious institutions...
charity, nonprofit, donations, taxes, great recession
411
2020-20-26
Friday, 26 June 2020 11:20 AM
Newsmax Media, Inc.
 
Newsmax TV Live

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
MONEYNEWS.COM
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved