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 during 2010.
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."
This Web exclusive information is a supplement to Everyday Heroes.