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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

What Does $291 Billion Buy?

I just sat in on an Arabella Advisors webinar that took a closer look at the newly released data on giving in 2010. Here’s a sample of some of the key points made during the presentation:

  • There is some evidence that consumption is a better indicator for giving than wealth.

  • Giving is impacted by the economy, people’s income and their consumption. That said, it is still amazingly resilient.

  • When giving dips, people reduce the number of charities that they support. However, they tend to hold fast to those that they’ve always supported.

  • 1/3 of all donors do not itemize on their taxes.

  • The bigger question isn’t how much American’s give in a particular year, but rather what did all that money buy? Was the $291 billion donated in 2010 more or less effective than the $280 billion given in 2009? (Charity Navigator is working to build a rating system that better tracks effectiveness).

  • Corporations are less likely to buy tickets to special events (galas, golf outings) and more likely to support charities via cause-related marketing.

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