Americans expected to give more in 2015, 2016 than previous years

A recent report from the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy has potential good news for nonprofits across Jackson County, including the Community Foundation of Jackson County.

Americans will increase their gifts to charity by nearly 5 percent in both 2015 and 2016, according to The Philanthropy Outlook, a new report researched and written by the School of Philanthropy.

Charitable giving is expected to grow by 4.8 percent this year and by an additional 4.9 percent next year. That would exceed the estimated annual average rate of growth in total giving in the years following the recession (3.1 percent) and the estimated long-term average for the 40-year trend in total giving for 1973-2013 (3.8 percent).

That could mean more in grant dollars from the foundation that could be awarded to area agencies such as Jackson County United Way, Boys & Girls Club of Seymour and Girls Inc. of Jackson County.

It could mean more in scholarship dollars for funds administered by the foundation.

And it could mean more grant dollars to aid nonprofits and their programs through the foundation’s Fall Grant Cycle, Classroom Education Grants and Impact Grants.

Among the report’s findings:

Increased contributions will come from individuals and households, estates, corporations and foundations.

Individual and household giving is predicted to increase by 4.4 percent this year and by 4.1 percent next year. It includes giving by both households that itemize charitable deductions on tax returns and those that do not.

Foundation giving across the U.S. is projected to rise by 7.2 percent in 2015 and by 6.7 percent in 2016.

Giving by estates is predicted to increase by 2.7 percent in 2015 and by 6.3 percent in 2016.

Corporate giving is expected to grow by 6.0 percent this year and by 4.8 percent next year.

The report states what many in the nonprofit section already know — that the sector has a significant effect on U.S. society and our economy. About 1.4 million nonprofits provide 11 percent of U.S. jobs and 9 percent of total wages. Americans gave an estimated $335.17 billion — or 2 percent of U.S. GDP — to charity in 2013, according to Giving USA 2014.

The Outlook’s findings indicate the nonprofit sector should see a “more stable and more positive environment for philanthropy,” said Una Osili, director of research for the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.

That’s good news for agencies that rely on the generosity of others to help people in need all across the country and here in Jackson County. We hope nonprofits here at home are already seeing those changes. Giving to the Community Foundation increased in 2014, and the Jackson County United Way during its 2014 annual campaign surpassed its goal for the first time in seven years and increased giving from the previous year.

If you would like to discuss how you might support any of the many funds and grants administered by the foundation, or start your own fund, call the office at 812-523-4483 or stop by our office. There are many ways to make a gift that can help others forever through endowed funds.

Dan Davis is president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Jackson County, 107 Community Drive, Seymour, IN 47274. For information about donating to the foundation, call 812-523-4483 or send an email to The foundation may also be found on Facebook at