According to a report from the Giving USA Foundation, Americans gave $298.42 billion
to charity during 2011, up 4 percent from a revised estimate of $286.91 billion
Individual giving rose 3.9 percent in 2011 to $217.79 billion. Foundations donated
$41.67 billion, which was up 1.8 percent from 2010, and corporations gave $14.55
billion, which was down 0.1 percent.
Religious organizations continue to receive the largest amount of donations$95.88
billion; however, they experienced a 1.7 percent decrease in giving. Foundations
also experienced a decline, receiving $25.8 billion, which was a decrease of 6.1
percent. Education received $38.87 billion, which was an increase of 4 percent.
In addition, there was a 7.6 percent increase in giving for international affairs
organizations; 4.1 percent increase for arts, culture and humanities organizations;
and 2.7 percent increase for health organizations.
"America's charities have been traveling down a rocky road in recent years," says
James Yunker, chairman of the Giving USA Foundation. "Although a cautious celebration
might seem to be in order because 2011 saw the second year of growth in individual
giving, heed must also be paid to the fact that
the American economy remains
volatile on many fronts, and that could have an effect on giving going forward."