Americans reportedly donated a record $358 billion to charity in 2014.
According to the Giving USA Annual Report, which is published by the Giving USA Foundation, the record number is the highest since $355 billion in 2007. Charitable donations increased 7.1 percent from 2013 to 2014, the report said. Three quarters of the donations came from individuals, and 15 percent came from foundations.
There was also a significant increase in the number of “mega gifts” — donations made by wealthy individuals that exceeded $200 million, CNBC reports. Most of these donations came from tech entrepreneurs.
“Much of that increase that we’re seeing is based really on what was a healthier economy as we came out of the Great Recession,” Giving USA representative Keith Curtis told National Public Radio. “Some of them are young and they’re making those decisions to give back; and when they’re giving, they’re giving significant gifts.”
Urban Institute spokeswoman Elizabeth Boris spoke to the decline in charitable giving over last few years — citing the economic decline as a significant contributor.
“It’s been a really difficult time for charities because other sources of revenue have also been flat, government grants and contracts, perhaps fees for service, it’s been a rough haul,” Boris said, according to CBS DC. “Corporations are doing quite well, so it’s about time.”
Five percent of the $358 billion in charitable donations came from corporations.
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