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Charitable Giving Is On The Rise

Spectrem's Millionaire Corner research shows that younger investors are more charitable than older ones.

| BY Kent McDill

Amid record-breaking growth in the stock market, charitable giving reached a new record high in 2013, according to the annual report from Giving USA Foundation and the Indiana University Lilly Family School.

The report said total amounts given by individuals, companies and foundations reached $335.17 billion in 2013, a rise of 4.4 from the previous record of $320 billion in 2012.

However, the amount of charitable giving was nowhere near the amount of growth in stocks last year, which was up to 30 percent in the overall stock market level. L. Gregg Carlson, the chairman of Giving USA Foundation, said charitable giving is also driven by GDP growth, personal income and consumption increases, all which grew more slowly than the stock market in 2013.

A Spectrem’s Millionaire Corner study of affluent investors from 2013 showed that among Ultra High Net Worth investors with a net worth between $5 million and $25 million, 64 percent gave less than $10,000 to charitable causes. Twenty-seven percent gave more than $10,000 and 5 percent gave more than $25,000.

Young investors appear to be more charitable than older ones. The Millionaire Corner study showed that 24 percent of investors under the age of 45 gave at least $25,000 to charity in 2013 while only 2 percent of those over 64 gave that much. Only 4 percent of investors between the ages of 55-64 gave at least $25,000 and 7 percent of those between the ages of 55-64 gave that much.

RELATED: Crowdfunding For Charity Donations

In 2007, prior to the economic crisis, charitable giving in America was at $311 billion.

The largest growth in charitable giving came from individuals, jumping 4.2 percent in 2013 to $230.91 billion. Giving from corporations dropped by 1.9 percent while giving from foundations increased 5.7 percent and giving by bequest went up 8.7 percent.

However, giving has changed in the years since the recession hit. Immediately after the recession, wealthy donors gave money to social service groups working to help Americans deal with the pains of hunger or homelessness. Today, there is a refocus by the wealthy on donating to causes such as higher education, the arts and other programs long influenced by gifts from the wealthy.

In 2013, giving increased for education by 7.4 percent, for the arts and humanities by 6.3 percent, and for health organizations by 4.5 percent. Giving to religious groups dropped by 1.56 percent and social services groups had only a slight 0.7 rise in gifts.

In total, religion still gets the biggest share of total giving, with 31 percent in 2013. Education gets 16 percent to rank second and human services gets 12 percent to rank third.

"While this has been a particularly slow recovery, many charities are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel," Carlson said. "Donors are increasingly more comfortable giving to the causes they care about and at a level in keeping with the impact they would like to make."

About the Author

Kent McDill

Kent McDill is a staff writer for Millionaire Corner. McDill spent 30 years as a sports writer, working for United Press International and the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Ill. From 1988-1999, he covered the Chicago Bulls for the Daily Herald, traveling with them every day through the nine-month season. He also covered the Bulls for UPI from 1985-88, and currently covers the team for He has written two books on the Bulls, including the new title “100 Things Bulls Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die’, published by Triumph Books. In August 2013, his new book “100 Things Bears Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die” gets published.

In 2008, he resigned from the Herald and became a freelance writer. The Herald hired him to write business features and speeches for the Daily Herald Business Conferences and Awards presentations.

McDill also writes a monthly parenting column for the Herald’s Suburban Parent magazine.

McDill is the father of four children, and an active fan of soccer, Jimmy  Buffett and all things Disney.