2015 first half U.S. charitable giving has been exceptionally (and unexpectedly) strong – up a total of 7.6% to $238.88 Billion from $222.03 Billion for the same period in 2014. Most of this strong giving performance is attributed to the continually good news of improving employment rates. Individual donors, who account for 74% of all U.S. giving, are finding jobs, less fearful of losing their jobs, and enjoying some splendid economic conditions like low interest rates, low gas prices, and little inflation. This leaves them with more disposable income that can be applied to charitable giving.
Other contributing factors include:
- Strong Foundation grants continue as grant making foundations share the bounty of 6 years of strong stock portfolio gains. (This strong grant trend is expected to continue for 2-3 more years.)
- More record Donor Advised account contributions and grants to charities.
- Increasing adoption of technology that makes the fundraising process more effective and less expensive. Theses include crowd funding, online event support, donor relations management technology, and better donor predictive and analytic tools.
- More nonprofits. New, focused, accountable niche nonprofits are bringing new money into the charitable giving economy.
- Mega gifts are booming – more than $4 Billion so far this year. Led by John Pauls