NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Charitable Donations Rose For Fifth Straight Year In 1999

May 25, 2000

Their coffers bulging with stock profits, charities are giving away more money than ever before. So reports the A.A.F.R.C. Trust for Philanthropy -- the nonprofit arm of the American Association of Fund-Raising Counsel. Researchers stressed that all figures are estimates.

  • Donations to charities, both by individuals and institutions rose nearly $16 billion in 1999, to $190.2 billion -- 9.1 percent higher than the previous year and well ahead of the 5.7 percent growth in gross domestic product.
  • Adjusted for inflation, donations rose 6.7 percent.
  • They equaled 2.1 percent of GDP -- the highest level by that measurement in 28 years.
  • Since 1995, giving has risen 53 percent -- or 40 percent when adjusted for inflation.

Last year's donations equaled 3 percent of personal consumption -- up slightly from the previous year and a significant jump from the 2.5 percent registered in 1995. But that figure was still below the 3.3 percent of the late 1960s.

Personal giving -- which accounts for about three-quarters of all donations -- was up 7 percent last year, to $143.7 billion from $134.1 billion.

Source: Karen W. Arenson, "Charitable Giving Surged Again in '99, by an Estimated 9%," New York Times, May 25, 2000.


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