The numbers for U.S. philanthropy in 2013 have been added up in the just released, annual Giving USA Foundation report. In 2013, Americans gave three hundred thirty-five billion dollars to charity, one-third of a trillion dollars. The growth rate for charitable contributions in the U.S. was four point four percent in 2013, a healthy rise although still not a recovery to the levels reported before the economic recession. Here’s the really interesting figures: of the four sources of giving that were analyzed—individual, foundations, bequests, and corporations—every kind of contribution rose in 2013 except for corporate giving, which dropped by two percent, to seventeen point nine billion dollars. While this is not good news for nonprofits that struggle for cash to support their work, the numbers might be misleading in the overall corporate philanthropy picture.
Volunteering is on the rise at many companies, and the huge amount of donated time is not always calculated in dollar value. Employee giving programs are becoming more popular: fifty percent of companies have increased the number of fundraising and networking events. And corporate matches are growing: nearly two-thirds of the employers surveyed match payroll contributions, a fifty-eight percent increase since 2006. As companies integrate employee engagement programs into their core business strategy, corporate philanthropy will increasingly be measured in volunteer time, strategic partnerships, leveraged resources, and in-kind contributions as well as dollars.