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Good news! Charitable giving will likely increase this year -- and next!

by Timothy Sandoval [reprinted from The Chronicle of Philanthropy]

Despite some recent projections showing that the economy may see slower growth in 2016, charitable giving is expected to grow by 4.1 percent this year and by 4.3 percent in 2017, according to a report released Wednesday.

Total giving in both years will outstrip the average rates of growth over the past 10 and 25 years, with foundations expanding their giving the most, followed by estates, corporations, and individuals and households, the report predicts.

Giving to education is also expected to increase, according to the study, which was conducted by the Indiana University’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and Marts & Lundy, a philanthropy consulting firm.

Researchers analyzed several economic factors — some projected for 2016 and 2017, some based numbers from past years ­— such as consumer confidence, growth in the stock market, personal consumption, household and nonprofit net worth, and the individual tax rate, to reach their conclusions.

Other highlights:

  • Foundations are expected to increase giving by 5.7 percent in 2016 and 6.4 percent in 2017, due in part to projected above-average growth in the Standard & Poor’s 500 index in 2015 and 2016. Although the market was volatile last year and has been so far in 2016, foundation giving is often influenced by performance of the stock market over several years, as many foundations use multiyear averages in stock gains to determine their giving.

  • Bequests and other planned gifts are expected to increase by 4.8 percent in 2016 and 4.9 percent in 2017.

  • Giving by corporations is expected to grow by 4.6 percent in 2016 and 4.7 percent in 2017, depending on improved consumer confidence and projected above-average growth in the S & P 500.

  • Growth in giving from individuals and households — which is projected to account for more than 70 percent of total support in 2016 and 2017 — is expected to be more modest, increasing by 3.7 percent in 2016 and 3.8 percent in 2017.

  • Contributions to education — which includes donations to colleges and universities, private K-12 schools, and public-school fundraisers — is expected to grow 6.3 percent in 2016 and 6.1 percent in 2017.

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