Report Finds U.S. Charitable Giving Declined in 2018
Despite strong growth in the U.S. economy, charitable giving decreased in 2018 according to GivingUSA’s annual report on philanthropy. The report found that individual giving declined an inflation-adjusted 3.4 percent in 2018.
Other key takeaways from the report include:
- For the first time in 60 years, individual giving accounted for less than 70% of total giving.
- Giving to education decreased by 1.3 percent from 2017 to 2018 (Note that this includes giving to all education institutions).
- Giving to private foundations decreased by 6.9 percent over the same time period.
The report points to the impact of U.S. tax law and a volatile stock market in late 2018 as key factors contributing to the overall decline in giving. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act doubled the standard deduction threshold, effectively eliminating the charitable deduction for 90 percent of American taxpayers.
To address the decline in giving, CASE and the Charitable Giving Coalition is urging Congress to enact legislation that would provide a universal charitable deduction to all American taxpayers. Such legislation would incentivize all Americans – regardless of income - to give to educational institutions and other charities, thereby ensuring that the U.S. retains a strong and independent charitable sector. CASE supports two similar universal charitable deduction bills – H.R. 1260 introduced by Rep. Danny Davis (D-IL), a member of the House Ways and Means Committee and the Charitable Giving Tax Deduction Act (H.R. 651) introduced by Reps. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) and Chris Smith (R-NJ). You can learn more about these bills at the CASE Advocacy Action Center.