Today, Giving USA released its 2012 report on giving in the U.S. for 2011. The new report estimates that charitable giving in the U.S. increased by 4.0% in 2011 from 2010, the growth mimicking similar gains across the economy. Perhaps the most compelling statistic relates to the continued growth in giving to international affairs. U.S. philanthropy toward international causes is strong, both overall and among key donor segments such as individuals and corporations. Despite sluggish economic recovery, U.S.-based donors continue to give internationally helping people in need and supporting sustainable change in the areas of health care, education, and economic development.
Charitable giving to international aid, development, and relief organizations (international affairs subsector) is estimated to be $22.68 billion in 2011, an increase of 7.6% from 2010. This follows an increase of 7.1% between 2009 and 2010. The estimated two-year change in charitable contributions made to international affairs organizations between 2009 and 2011 is an increase of 15.2% —the largest increase across the subsectors. Adjusted for inflation, giving to international affairs organizations is estimated to have risen 4.4% in 2011 from 2010.
Since 1987, when Giving USA first tracked giving to international affairs, international giving realized a 10.4% average annual rate of growth. This is the highest overall growth rate for the subsectors that Giving USA tracks. Recent growth in giving reflects developing priorities for charitable activity in developing countries, as well as an increasing number of international organizations based in the United States. The Urban Institute’s 2011 “The Nonprofit Sector in Brief,” reported an increase of 79.6% in the number of international organizations between 1999 and 2009 and growth in total revenue of 154.4% in the same time period.
These figures reflect an increased interest in international causes. Some factors contributing to this growing interest include:
- Globalization. U.S.-based corporations are increasingly global, with significant assets and employees operating outside the U.S. In addition, a greater percentage of U.S. corporate revenues are generated overseas.
- New Media. The internet and social media generated greater public awareness of international humanitarian needs and major disasters, such as the South Asian tsunami, Haiti earthquake and crisis in Japan.
- Diverse U.S. Population. The United States Census Bureau reports published in 2010 show one in five Americans is foreign born or has parents who were born outside the U.S.
- Increased International Travel. As more U.S. citizens live and travel internationally, they are exposed to international cultures and global issues.
For a more in-depth analysis of the U.S. philanthropic terrain, please check out CCS’s Snapshot of Today’s Philanthropic Landscape. In this report, we synthesize current data and statistics from the nation’s top institutions and publications. Topics include an overview of giving in America; details about our nation’s largest givers; a snapshot of corporate, foundation and individual giving; ePhilanthropy, online giving and social media volunteerism; trends in planned giving and bequests; and details about the top 400 charities.
Click here to view the first edition of what will become an annual CCS publication. Our second (2012) edition will be released in early Fall and we welcome and value your feedback. Please help us make the second edition an even more valuable resource for leaders in the non-profit community, by emailing your suggestions and comments to Lesley Snyder, CCS’s New Media & Corporate Communications Manager, or submitting your ideas on Facebook. If we use one of your ideas, we will send you an advance copy of the report!
CCS is a proud supporter of the Giving Institute. Click here to visit the Giving USA site to purchase the full 2012 report.