The Atlas of Giving report says that as of November 31, Americans donated about 9 percent more to charity than compared to the same 11-month period in 2013 — a total of $415 billion. The report credits a continuing bull stock market, low interest rates, improving employment, lower gas prices and virtually no inflation for the increase.
But the report also projects that 2014 will finish strong by the time December is over. According to the report, December giving will total $39 billion, for a total of $454.93 billion by the end of 2014.
Texas saw one of the biggest increases in giving in 2014 so far, with an increase of 14.2 percent from January to November 2014 compared to that same time period in 2013. But like the rest of the country, Texas is not supposed to see a better January 2015 than January 2014.
For a complete look at the report, including which sectors have seen the biggest increase in donations in 2014, visit Atlas of Giving.
Understanding these reports: While it’s impossible to simply add-up all charitable giving because of all the ways people and charities report their giving, a number of organizations produce philanthropy reports that estimate charitable giving in the U.S., including Giving USA and Blackbaud. Atlas of Giving says that it is the only organization that quantifies future giving. It also claims that its projections are more accurate because it doesn’t use surveys of nonprofits to produce reports, rather it relied on an algorithm that consider 70 measures, such as the state of the economy, demographic data, joblessness rates, political election results, and the state of consumer confidence.