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Charitable Giving Snapshot

Charitable giving is on the rise. The National Philanthropic Trust says that, in 2017, Americans gave $410.02 billion to charity, reflecting a 5.2 percent increase from 2016. Individual giving is the largest source of charitable donations, accounting for 70 percent of total giving. Foundations and bequests take the second and third spots. Corporations round out the top four, according to research from Giving USA.

CreditDonkey indicates that roughly 61 percent of people between the ages of 35 and 44 will donate to charity this year. Other age groups are less likely to follow suit.

Despite being the largest demographic by age in the United States, millennials (people between the ages of 18 and 34) donate less and volunteer less for charitable causes than other age groups, except in regard to one particular means of donating. According to the research firm Massolution, millennials are the driving force behind the crowdfunding movement. Crowdfunding accounted for $3 billion of charitable giving in 2014. Millennials are three times more likely than Baby Boomers to donate to a crowdfunding campaign and 70 percent more likely than Gen Xers.

Environmental causes, animal charities, arts, culture, and health causes experienced the largest jumps in contributions in 2017. Education-based giving saw relatively slower growth.

While the majority of donations in the United States were made to religious organizations in 2017, 17 percent of American families have reduced the amount that they give to their local churches, offers Nonprofits Source.

 Charitable giving can come in the form of volunteerism as well. The National Philanthropic Trust says approximately 25 percent of the adult population volunteers their time. Americans contribute what would equate to $193 billion of their time to various efforts.

North Americans are charitable people, continuing to offer their money and time to help those in need.