Originally appeared in The Agitator; Tom Beldford
Giving USA has released its annual study on giving, reporting that for 2016 all giving rose to $390.1 billion, or 1.4% over 2015 (inflation adjusted). That represents 2.1% of gross domestic product, slightly above the 1.9% average of the past 40 years. Here’s the giving by source:
I have to believe the strong growth for environment and animal welfare is ‘thanks’ to Donald Trump’s emergence as a genuine contender and eventual election last year (seems so long ago!).
I note that giving from ‘living individuals’ rose 2.6% over 2015, while giving from bequests declined 10%. What happened to that giant wealth transfer fundraisers were expecting?
Longer living Seniors and Boomers? I can see that possibly delaying bequests. But a 10% decline? I suspect fundraisers simply aren’t giving sufficient focus to planned giving. Recall last week I reported the Bloomerang finding that only 28% of the 600 nonprofits they surveyed made donors aware in the previous quarter of planned giving opportunities.
Time to rethink your commitment to soliciting bequests?
P.S. Giving USA is a project of The Giving Institute and the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. Blackbaud’s Steve MacLaughlin describes the annual report in this video. And you can order here, including a free executive summary.