The Giving USA Foundation reports charitable giving was up in 2014 for the fifth year in a row, and has finally rebounded past its pre-recession peak, to an estimated $358 billion.
Data released in the Giving USA 2015 annual report shows donations rose in all categories of giving during 2014, including individual, corporate, foundation and bequests.
Prior to the recession in 2007, giving had reached $355 billion, but then dropped 15 percent to $303 billion in 2009, according to Giving USA Foundation.
Experts predict the trend will continue. Charitable giving in the United States is expected to grow by 4.8 percent in 2015 and 4.9 percent in 2016, according to The Philanthropy Outlook, a report released by Indiana University school of philanthropy.
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Charlotte’s charitable community is seeing mixed results.
The Foundation for the Carolinas reported earlier this year that local donors set aside a record $627 million for charity in 2014, double the amount given the previous year. As a result, the foundation now manages $1.7 billion in charitable assets, making it the ninth biggest among the nation’s 800 community foundations, officials said.
But Charlotte’s United Way continues to fight to meet its annual campaign goal, which was $21.6 million last year. This past year, the agency took $985,000 from reserves to meet its allocations obligations to 80 member charities, and it is predicting as much as $2 million will be needed from reserves next year.
Still, United Way’s leadership has hinted that it will set a more aggressive campaign goal for 2015 and is adding two full-time staff members to help connect with donors. The agency’s campaign goal will be set in August.