So you thought the government “shutdown” didn’t effect Americans too harshly. Well as one after another of the shutdown problems surface, we also find out that charitable donations are taking a hit.
In 2012, the 400 U.S. charities that raise the greatest amounts had collections soar upward by four percent. In 2013, that figure is now projected to head south by three percentage points — this despite a sharp rise in giving by the wealthy who have more than doubled gifts of $1 million or more.
Why? One major reason, according to Stacy Palmer, editor of the Chronicle of Philanthropy, is the fearsome “effect of the government, and its debt ceiling controversies in Washington.”
“Things like the federal shutdown, and all of the wrangling in Washington are not helping,” Palmer opines. “These kind of things do not help people feel charitable or even feel like giving as much as in the past.”
Other factors include the growing significance of “donor-advised funds,” which allow rich givers to park money and yet receive an immediate tax benefit though the funds may really not be given to a particular charity for weeks or months later.
P.S.: The largest upward jump in 2012 gift giving was at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. The museum’s recent capital campaign raised $181 million — a 410 percent increase over 2011.