Indiana News

As Economy Improves, Charitable Donations Aren't Keeping Up

12/5/2012

'Tis the season of giving, but is the economy continuing to throw a damper on charity?

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Patrick Rooney, executive director of IUPUI's Center on Philanthropy says the answer to that question is a big yes. Rooney says private giving from individuals, corporations and foundations will reach about $300 billion nationwide by year's end. However, that figure remains down from the $320 billion mark back in 2007 before the recession hit.

Rooney says even if the economy heats up moderately, it'll likely take another decade to return back to 2007 giving. Rooney says depending on how you analyze it, $300 billion represents anywhere from two to five percent of gross domestic product and remains respectable.

Rooney says the current proposal in Washington to raise the top level tax rate to 39% would likely have a negative impact on overall giving. He says it would reduce giving by upwards of two percent. Rooney says the figure isn't large, but significant given rising needs and demands on cash-strapped charities.

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