U.S. Charitable Giving Reaches Highest Level In 60 Years

It appears that charitable giving is something many Americans are making a high priority these days. According to a report recently issued by the Giving USA Foundation, last year, the U.S. saw a charitable giving total higher than it has seen in decades.

This milestone in part came about through a rise in charitable giving by individuals. Individual charitable giving rose by 5.7 percent last year in the U.S, reaching a national total of $258.51 billion. Last year, 72 percent of all charitable giving was done by individuals.

The overall charitable giving total in the U.S. in 2014 was $358.38 billion, a 7.1 percent increase over 2013. The 2014 charitable giving total is the highest annual total the U.S. has had in 60 years.

What is behind this high level of charitable giving? It appears that it is not coming about through a rise in the number of charitable donations, as this number has more or less been holding steady lately in the U.S., but increases in how big donations are.

There is a fair amount of disagreement regarding what the charitable giving total will end up looking for this year by this year's finish. Some postulate it will end up higher than last year's total, while others predict the total will be down from last year. What do you think will happen with charitable giving by year's end?

Many people have charitable organizations that are very near and dear to their hearts. There are many different ways individuals can give financial help to charitable organizations. One is through charitable giving during their lifetime. Another is through leaving after-death gifts to charities.

There are a range of different estate planning methods that can be used for making after-death gifts to charities. One is including a gift to charity in a will. Another is setting up and funding a charitable trust. Attorneys can help individuals who desire to make an after-death charitable gift with understanding what charitable giving estate planning devices would be a good fit for them, given what type of gift they want to give, what purpose they want the gift used for, their family situation, their tax situation and other aspects of their individual circumstances.

Source: MarketWatch, "Americans are in a charitable giving mood," Richard Eisenberg, August 17, 2015

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