So this morning, I wrote 350 engaging words about research into WHY people give. If you want to read that, stay tuned for another day, because in the process of preparing that post, I discovered that last week the IRS released final data about charitable giving in 2009.
SO.....ta da. A quick look at what changed between 2008 and 2009 in the world of individual, itemized charitable contributions.
The short, short answer is that itemized giving fell -- as anticipated -- from 2008. The total decline for the amount claimed in charitable deductions was 9%.
Interestingly, though, tax returns with income UNDER $200,000 actually gave an AVERAGE amount that was 3% more than the average amount given in 2008. However, tax returns with income over $200,000 declined in number by 10%, saw a 20% drop in income overall, and reported 18% less in all itemized contributions -- and a 9% decline in the average charitable contribution.
The biggest drop overall, not shown on the table attached, was in gifts that count as "other than cash." Usually that means securities, and since the stock market in 2009 hadn't even started looking up yet, that isn't a surprise.
Word from my friends in fundraising is that many organizations have seen increases in charitable amounts received in the first half of 2011. What will happen with annual campaigns this fall? If you have thoughts, post them in the Comments area below.