We're just leaving the season for giving, but many experts believe the coming years will see even more generosity on the part of wealthy Americans. According to a new report from Marts & Lundy, a fundraising and consulting firm, giving is expected to grow by 4.1 percent in 2016 and by 4.3 percent in 2017. Both figures would exceed the five-, 10- and 25-year annualized average rates of growth in total giving.
Foundations will experience robust growth this year and next at 5.7 percent and 6.4 percent. Bequests are expected to grow by 4.8 percent and 4.9 percent, and corporations by 4.6 percent and 4.7 percent. Giving by individuals and households, which represents nearly three-quarters of total giving in the U.S., is expected to grow by a more modest 3.7 percent and 3.8 percent.
What explains the growth in charitable giving? The report cites projected growth in the S&P 500 Index, personal income and the net worth of households and nonprofits. Trends in the current year’s S&P 500 influence giving in the next year, as higher-income households often budget their current years giving based on the previous year’s assets.