Arts and Culture Fastest-Growing in Charitable Donations

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America’s arts and culture proved 2012’s fastest-growing charitable cause according to Tuesday’s report from Chicago-based Giving Institute and its research partner, the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University.

7390001_v1-1The report, titled “Giving USA,” showed that funding of cultural organizations rose an estimated 7.8% to $14.44 billion. Yet that places giving to the arts with only 5% of the charitable-giving pie. Overall charitable giving totaled $316.2 billion, up 3.5% from 2011.

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The Los Angeles Times noted the importance of keeping perspective on the giving to arts and culture in our struggling economic times:

Previous Giving USA reports had noted that donations to arts and culture sank 8.2% during the two-year recession of 2008 and 2009. The $14.44 billion given in 2012 vaulted the sector back above the pre-recession peak of $13.7 billion in 2007.

But before anyone breaks out the champagne, it should be noted that because of inflation, arts donors would have had to ante up $15.17 billion in 2012 — 5.1% more than they actually gave — to match the purchasing power they’d provided in 2007.

Estimates in “Giving USA” were based on various sources, including the Internal Revenue Service, the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis and independent studies of nonprofit research groups.

You can read The LA Times story here.

Access The Giving Institute’s website here.