WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Leadership 18, comprised of the nation’s largest social services nonprofits, has a number of policy experts available to discuss the latest Giving USA report on charitable giving, which is expected to be released on Tuesday, June 18.
The Giving USA report is widely accepted as the conclusive authority on charitable giving in the U.S. Leadership 18 expects the report to show giving fell below expectation in 2018.
Early data from other sources indicate that charitable giving in 2018 fell far short of expectations, growing at a painfully modest rate of 1.5%-1.6%. This was about half the rate of 2.9% economic growth (measured by Gross Domestic Product (GDP)). It was the first time in 20 years that charitable giving growth did not match or exceed economic growth.
The early data also shows that a relatively small number of donors were responsible for the anemic growth that did occur. Giving by the vast majority of donors was not only below GDP growth, but below 2017 giving by 4%. Additionally, some traditional charities like faith-based and social service charities may have fared worse than charities that tend to receive donations from the wealthy.
While giving is largely driven by altruism, there is a consensus among experts that tax policy impacts charitable giving. The recent changes to the tax law is virtually the only change in the giving environment that explains the drop in donations in 2018. In fact, a range of economic experts predicted a drop in giving as a result of the tax reform law, including the American Enterprise Institute, the Tax Policy Center, and Indiana University's Center on Philanthropy.
Finally, the Giving USA report may just be the beginning of troubling giving reports as many people who donate to charity were not aware that they lost the ability to take a charitable deduction until they prepared their 2018 tax returns in 2019. The 2018 giving reductions could be worse in 2019.
About Leadership 18
Collectively, the members of Leadership 18 serve 87 million people with more than 5.6 million staff and volunteers. All of our member organizations share a specific mission to improve human development through deep community relationships. Leadership 18 members include the following: Alliance for Strong Families and Communities, American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, American Red Cross, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Catholic Charities USA, City Year, Feeding America, Girl Scouts of the USA, Girls Inc., Goodwill Industries International, Inc., Habitat for Humanity International, The Jewish Federations of North America, Lutheran Services in America, Mental Health America, National Council on Aging, The Salvation Army, United Way Worldwide, Volunteers of America, YMCA of the USA, and YWCA USA.
Media Notes: To request an interview with a policy expert from one or more of the Leadership 18 nonprofits, please contact Jennifer Devlin at 703-966-3241 or Jennifer.firstname.lastname@example.org.