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Charitable Giving Forecast to Grow in 2014

According to a report on charitable giving released in May 2014 by a leading forecast organization, Atlas of Giving, the U.S. is likely to see more than a 7% growth in charitable donations in 2014 compared to 2013. Atlas of Giving provides a monthly estimate of charitable giving by sector, source, and state.

In 2013, Americans set a record. Fueled largely by significant gains in stock prices, charitable giving in the U.S. increased 13% in 2013, hitting a record $416.7 billion, according to an end-of-year report released by the Atlas of Giving.

The 2013 analysis showed that while all of the measured sectors grew significantly, the biggest increases in gift revenue were among human services organizations, environmental charities, donor-advised funds, and educational institutions. Meanwhile, giving to churches and health organizations failed to keep pace with the revenue growth seen in other charitable sectors.

Researchers observed that several key factors came together to create a favorable atmosphere for philanthropy in 2013, including a 12% nationwide rise in housing prices and big jumps in stock market values. However, the lingering effects of unemployment continued to hurt churches and other organizations that rely on small gifts from a large number of donors.

The 2013 report projected that giving in 2014 would rise by 4%. However, the current data predicts more robust growth, according to Rob Mitchell, CEO of the Atlas of Giving: “Driven primarily by strong sustained stock market gains and continuing low interest rates, charitable giving is exceeding expectations in 2014,” said Mitchell. “The current revised forecast suggests that giving will increase more than 7%. Several sectors should expect double-digit growth, including the environment and human services. However, church and religious giving is expected to grow only 4.6%, and the health sector forecast has improved to just 6.1%.”

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