Charitable giving in the first half of 2015 was up nearly 8 percent compared with the same period last year, according to a new Atlas of Giving study, growing from about $222 billion to nearly $239 billion.
Improving employment rates are a big part of the reason for the uptick in giving, the report said, adding that donors are feeling more financially confident. Those who were unemployed are finding jobs, and those who were employed throughout the recession are less worried about layoffs and downsizing. The Atlas of Giving said low inflation was also a factor in the increased giving so far this year.
Gifts from the very wealthy — those donating tens of millions of dollars — are flowing in, according to the survey, totaling more than $4 billion so far in 2015. Such donations accounted for 2 percent of all giving.
The report predicts that charitable giving in 2015 will end up 5.6 percent higher by the end of the calendar year than in 2014.
The Atlas of Giving said its findings are produced by a team of 25 mathematicians using 65 economic algorithms. The organization doesn’t provide specifics on how it compiles its figures.
The full report is available for free on the Atlas of Giving website.