Giving in the United States: You’re in Good Company

  • Total giving: $298.4 Billion
  • Giving by individuals: $217.8 Billion
  • Giving by charitable bequest: $24.4 Billion
  • Giving by family foundations: $20.4 Billion

Each year the Giving USA Foundation reports on charitable giving in the United States. Their most recent report issued in June 2012 estimates that total giving by individuals, charitable bequests, foundations, and corporations reached $298.4 billion in 2011—a 4% increase over 2010. Individual giving, which includes bequests and family foundations, accounted for 88% of the total or $262.6 billion. And while this annual increase in giving is relatively small, it is nevertheless encouraging because it marks the second year in a row that giving has increased following the decline in donations during the recession in 2008 and 2009.

Perhaps just as important as dollar donations are the volunteer hours Americans devote to charitable work. Sixty-five million American volunteers gave 8.1 billion hours of free labor to nonprofit organizations across the country in 2010, according to the most recent “Volunteering in America” report from the federal Corporation for National & Community Service. The dollar value of their free labor was estimated to be $173 billion, or $2,660 per volunteer.

  • Total volunteers: 65 Million
  • Total number of hours donated: 8.1 Billion
  • Estimated value of hours donated: $173 Billion

In many instances it is volunteers who make it possible for many of America’s charitable organizations to provide the goods and services that are so vital to their local communities.

These reports show that even in these continuing difficult economic times, Americans remain committed to supporting those causes and organizations in which they so firmly believe.

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