On Friday, September 19 the first quarterly meeting of 100+ Women Who Care - NRV chapter was held. Present at the meeting were representatives of three local charities; NRV Cares, Southwest Virginia Special Olympics NRV area, and Blacksburg Interfaith Food Pantry.
Each presenter told us key facts about their organization and their target recipients. The one thing that was glaringly obvious when they were finished presenting was the pressing need for help (money, time and more) right here in our own backyard.
It got me to thinking about how in my own family when we choose to give it tends to be to those in need not only outside our community, but outside our country!, typically to fight disease or disaster. I wondered how others behaved by comparison in their giving. If you are wondering too - here are some statistics. All data is the property of Giving USA 2014, the Annual Report on Philanthropy.
Few people realize how large charities have become, how many vital services they provide, and how much funding flows through them each year. Without charities and non-profits, America would simply not be able to operate. Their operations are so big that during 2013, total giving was more than $335 billion.
How big is the sector?
Total giving to charitable organizations was $335.17 billion in 2013 (about 2% of GDP). This is an increase of 4.4% from 2012. Although this is the fourth straight year that giving has increased, it is still not at the pre-recession level of $349.5 billion seen in 2007.
As in previous years, the majority of that giving came from individuals. Specifically, individuals gave roughly $240.6 billion (72%) representing a 4.2% increase over 2012. And it was the additional $9.69 billion in gifts made by individuals that was the main reason overall giving is up in 2013.
Giving by bequest was $27.73 billion (up 8.7%), foundations gave $48.96 billion (up 5.7%), and corporations donated $17.88 billion (down 1.9%).
Corporate giving accounts for just 5% of the total giving in 2013. And it was down primarily because of the slow growth in corporate pre-tax profits.
Five types of charities have reached or surpassed all-time high giving levels since the recession ended in mid-2009.
- Giving to Education charities was up 8.9% to $52.07 billion.
- Donations to Human Services charities were up 2.2% to $41.51 billion.
- Foundations saw an increase of 15.5% to $35.74 billion.
- Health charities experienced an increase of 6% to $31.86 billion.
- Charities that focus on the Environment / Animals saw an increase of 7.5% to $9.72 billion.
Giving to International charities slowed due to fewer overseas disasters.
Historically, Religious groups have received the largest share of charitable donations. While this was still true in 2013, the percentage dropped by 2% from 2012 making this the fifth year in a row it was down or flat. Even with the 0.2% decrease in donations this year, 31% of all donations ($105.53 billion) went to Religious organizations. Much of these contributions can be attributed to people giving to their local place of worship.
The next largest sector was Education with 16% of all donations.
Consider joining 100+ Women Who Care - NRV to help us reduce the need locally. Your contribution combined with those of your peers can have a large impact (up to $10k) in any given quarter. It's not easy for a local organization to raise that amount of money in such a short time-frame.