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News & Thoughts


CINCINNATI (June 18, 2019) – An estimated 300 Greater Cincinnati nonprofit leaders gathered at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center to learn charitable giving by individuals, bequests, foundations and corporations actually increased in 2018 to a record amount of $427.71 billion.  The report of The Giving USA Foundation, researched and written by the IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, was presented by Melissa S. Brown, former editor of Giving USA, who has delivered the annual report to Cincinnati’s leaders for the past 16 years.

 

According to Giving USA 2019: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2018 total charitable giving rose 0.7% measured in current dollars; adjusted for inflation, total giving declined 1.7%.  A number of competing factors in the economic and public policy environment may have affected donors’ decisions in 2018, shifting some previous giving patterns. Many economic variables that shape giving, such as personal income, had relatively strong growth, while the stock market may have had a dampening effect. The policy environment also likely influenced some donors’ behavior.

 

One important shift in the 2018 giving landscape, according to the report, is the drop in the number of individuals and households who itemize various types of deductions on their tax returns. This shift came in response to the federal tax policy change that doubled the standard deduction. More than 45 million households itemized deductions in 2016. Numerous studies suggest that number may have dropped by about 16 to 20 million households in 2018, reducing an incentive for charitable giving.

 

Still at the top of the chart, giving by individuals slipped as a percentage of total giving in 2018 to 68%; giving by foundations grew to its largest share at 18%; bequests remained steady at 9%;  corporations experienced solid growth but its share stayed at 5% of the total of $427.71 billion.

 

For more info and details on where the charitable dollars went, visit www.givingusa.org for information of a variety of reports available for purchase.

 

The 16th Annual Giving USA Cincinnati Briefing was organized by The Yunker Group, Inc.  Presenting sponsors included the BBB Center for Ethics, Clark Schaeffer Hackett, Driehaus Insurance Group with Cincinnati Insurance Companies, Fifth Third Foundation, Graydon, Greater Cincinnati Foundation, and Three Corners Capital. Movers & Makers returned as Media Sponsor.