Preliminary numbers from philanthropy tracker Atlas of Giving indicate Americans gave away $416.5-billion last year, a 12.9-percent increase from 2012, reports the Los Angeles Times.
It was the third straight yearly increase found by the Dallas-based organization, which uses an algorithm that incorporates economic, demographic, and event factors to estimate annual giving. Atlas of Giving CEO Rob Mitchell said last year's strong stock-market performance drove the numbers up, particularly in education giving, which rose by 15.7 percent.
The biggest increase was in human needs and disaster aid, for which giving grew by 18.7 percent from $41.8-million to $49.6-billion. Contributions to religious causes, as a share of all giving, shrank slightly but remained by far the biggest category, accounting for 35 percent of Americans' donations.
Listen to a Chronicle of Philanthropy podcast with Atlas of Giving's Rob Mitchell on 2013 giving trends.