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According to the annual report on American philanthropy published by the Giving USA Foundation the end of last month, overall giving has surpassed the pre-recession peak and generosity was up in every category. But the report brings bad news for the poorest people in the world. It said that giving to international causes was down by 3.6% over last year in categories including aid, development, relief and human rights organizations. Of the $358 billion in overall giving, only 4% is given to international causes. The report does not go into the details or explain the reason for this decline.


According to the Giving USA Foundation report, the 2014 charitable giving by source was as follows:

  • Individual Giving: $258.51 billion, increased 5.7 percent in current dollars.
  • Foundation Giving: $53.97 billion, was 8.2 percent higher than 2013.
  • Bequest Giving: $28.13 billion, increased 15.5 percent.
  • Corporate Giving: $17.77 billion, increased 13.7 percent.

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And these are the observations as cited in the reported.

  • Large gifts — $200 million or more —made large impact.
  • There was a jump in individual giving— 5.7 percent — made greatest impact. The 5.7 percent more that individuals donated in 2014 over 2013 accounted for 58 percent of last year’s total growth in giving.
  • Foundation giving on the rise; all three kinds upped 2014 gifts Not only did total giving by foundations grow 8.2 percent in 2014, gifts from all three types—community, independent and operating—also went up.

So, which categories receive the most and least donations in the USA? The categories the donations went to in 2014 and the amounts they received are as follows:

  • Religion — $114.90 billion
  • Education — $54.62 billion
  • Human Services — its $42.10 billion
  • Foundations — $41.62 billion
  • Health — $30.37 billion
  • Public-Society Benefit — $26.29 billion
  • Arts/Culture/Humanities —  $17.23 billion
  • International Affairs — $15.10 billion
  • Environment/Animals — $10.50 billion

This is a brief summary of the annual report on American philanthropy published by the Giving USA Foundation, to read the full report, click here.

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