The United States has historically been one of the most charitable and generous nations in the world. It is an integral part of our culture to donate to worthy causes. Now it's easier than ever before.
Granted, we are also bombarded with fundraisers, online funding drives, small children in front of our favorite grocery store with cookies. You name it, the list is almost endless. Giving, donating, and fundraising are built into the fabric of our society. But giving and donating is not a thing to be taken lightly, either.
As a nation, our overall charitable giving dropped somewhat after 2008, most likely as a fallout from the economic recession that hurt so many businesses and families. However, over time that began to change and our giving increased, especially over the last few years.
According to data from Charity Navigator,
Charitable giving continued its upward trend in 2015, as an estimated $373 billion was given to charitable causes. For the second year in a row, total giving reached record levels, and taking 2014 and 2015 together, charitable giving has increased over 10% (using inflation-adjusted dollars). This increase and the overall size of charitable contributions is further testament to the integral role charities play in our society, a role which continues to grow.
Who is Doing the Giving?
Its been shown that for most years the majority of giving comes from individuals. In fact, individuals gave $264.58 billion in 2015, which accounted for over 70 percent of all giving. This was almost a four percent increase over the amount given in 2014.
This means that just donations from individuals alone account for over two-thirds of all donations. And if you add in gifts from bequests and family foundations, which are just different groups of individuals, that means individual givers are responsible for nearly 80 percent of all giving.
It is the generosity of individual people, not faceless foundations or organization, that is responsible for almost all of the money donated each year.
Who Are We Giving To?
The staff at Charity Navigator released figures for 2015 on where our donations go, and these are some of the statistics:
- Giving to Education charities added up to $57.48 billion.
- Donations to Human Services charities came to $45.21 billion.
- Health charities received $29.81 billion.
- Charities that focus on the Environment and Animals were gifted with $10.68 billion.
- And giving to International charities increased by 17.5 percent over the previous year to $15.75 billion.
And this is just the monetary giving. In addition, individuals were responsible for huge amounts of non-cash donations. Those donations claimed by taxpayers are tracked in the Internal Revenue Service's Statistics of Income Bulletin. According to the data,
[M]ore than 22 million taxpayers reported making noncash charitable contributions in 2011, with about one-third (7.5 million) of them reporting the contribution using Form 8283, which is required for contributions in excess of $500. These taxpayers gave $43.6 billion in total, an increase of 10.9 percent over the $34.9 billion reported the previous year.
But wanting to donate furniture and other old goods and items is not the same as dumping your unusable junk. Charities do not need or want clothing, appliances, and other goods that are not usable or in restorable condition. Those items should be handled by a junk hauling firm, not donated.
So what's fit for donating? Here's a handy infographic that addresses that very question:
(Courtesy of www.charitynavigator.org)
Once you have determined the items you can donate, you may find that you have a substantial amount of items you still need to get rid of. What do you do with those? That's where a professional and reliable junk hauling firm can come to your rescue!
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