Here is a summary of data from the 2011 Giving USA report
- Total charitable contributions by individuals, corporations, and foundations was an estimated $298.42 billion in 2011, up 4% in current dollars and 0.9 percent in inflation-adjusted dollars from 2010.
- Giving by individuals rose nearly 4% and continue to count for the vast majority (73%) of total giving.
- As a percentage of disposable income, individual giving held steady in 2011 at 1.9%.
Less good news on the foundation and corporate giving front:
- Grantmaking by private, community, and operating rose less than 2%, meaning an actual decline of 1.3 percent in inflation-adjusted dollars.
- Giving to foundations fell some 6.1%.
- Giving by corporations remained flat, down 0.1% (3.1% in inflation-adjusted dollars).
The big transfer of wealth we have been hearing about may have begun:
- Gifts from estates rose 12% (9% in inflation-adjusted dollars), to $24.41 billion).
Who is benefiting from these gifts?
- Although giving to religious organizations fell 1.7% (4.7% in inflation-adjusted dollars), they continued to receive the largest share of charitable contributions in terms of recipient category.
- Religion was followed closely by education, then human services, health, arts and culture, and animal welfare and the environment.