IU Study: 'Fairly Dramatic Uptick' Expected For Giving

The philanthropy school is located in Univeristy Hall on the IUPUI campus. The philanthropy school is located in Univeristy Hall on the IUPUI campus.

An annual projection from the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and New Jersey-based Marts & Lundy Inc. estimates a more than 4 percent jump in charitable giving throughout the U.S. in each of the next two years. Dean Amir Pasic says, despite recent economic uncertainty, the Philanthropy Outlook shows solid prospects for growth. Across the board, giving is projected to rise at rates higher than historic averages.

In 2016, the report anticipates a 4.1 percent increase in U.S. charitable giving and a 4.3 bump the following year. These increases would outpace the 5-year, 10-year and 25-year annualized average rates of growth in total giving.

The outlook considers giving by individuals and households, foundations, estates and corporations, all of which are expected to rise.

Marts & Lundy board chair John Cash says "the Philanthropy Outlook 2016 and 2017 has much good news for the nonprofit sector, and especially for education. The involvement of a new generation of philanthropists is now bearing fruit and institutions, particularly educational institutions that can inspire and engage donors in their future, have unique opportunities. He continues "the substantial projected increase in foundation giving, driven by new wealth in family-directed foundations, indicates that the importance of individual donors, particularly at higher giving levels, continues to increase. As the disparity between the very wealthy and the rest of our society grows, the new report demonstrates that nonprofits should focus their attention on all levels of giving and should pay special attention to the potential for securing leadership commitments from top-level donors."

The report suggests significant economic factors for the coming years that would benefit charitable giving include: projected growth in the S&P 500 Index, personal income, and the net worth of households and nonprofits. Changes in tax policy or the economy could affect the predictions. Researchers tested more than 16,000 combinations of economic variables, identifying 20 key predictors of giving.

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