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IU Philanthropy Report: Americans Donating More To Charity


Photo: H. Michael Miley (flickr)

A person counts money received in donations.

Americans are donating more money to charity, according to an Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and Giving USA report.

The report shows Americans donated roughly $316 billion to charitable causes in 2012, up 3.5 percent and 1.5 percent adjusted for inflation over 2011.

Una Osili, Director of Research at the IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, says the increase is line with the economic recovery.

“If the economy does improve over time, we should see giving numbers start to return to their prerecession highs,” Osili says.

However, the figure still falls short of the benchmark high of $344 billion back in 2007 and Osili says it will likely take six years for giving to return to that level.


The report indicates giving by foundations rose 4.4 percent in 2012, which is in line with charitable donations, giving to the arts and humanitarian causes rose 7.8 percent and giving by corporations rose 12.2 percent.

However, the report also shows that giving to religious institutions remained flat in 2012. Osili attributes that in part to uncertainty about the continued role of religion in the lives of Americans.

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