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US Americans had a ‘record-breaking’ year of charitable giving in 2017

23:51  12 june  2018
23:51  12 june  2018 Source:   nydailynews.com

Is Tax Reform Hurting Charitable Donations?

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® Donors Drive a Record - Breaking Year for Charitable Giving , .5 Billion Granted to Charity Through More Than 1 Million Grants in 2017 . “We are now at an inflection point in philanthropy, as donor-advised funds have become more popular over the years with Americans looking at how to

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Charitable giving by Americans reached a record high in 2017, with more than $410 billion being given out for good causes.

This was a 5.2% increase from the previous year, according to the Giving USA Foundation’s annual philanthropic report, thanks in large part to a strong economy and stock market.

"The increase in giving in 2017 was generated in part by increases in the stock markets, as evidenced by the nearly 20% growth in the S&P 500," Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy dean, Amir Pasic, said in a statement.

“Investment returns funded multiple very large gifts, most of which were given by individuals to their foundations, including two gifts of $1 billion or more,” he said. “This tells us that some of our most fortunate citizens are using their wealth to make some significant contributions to the common good.”

Tax reform is squeezing charitable giving

  Tax reform is squeezing charitable giving With a higher bar to deduct donations, the numbers of both new donors and total donors fell in 2018's first quarterThe tax reform law that President Donald Trump championed doubled the standard deduction that taxpayers could take on their taxes, raising it to $12,000 for individuals, $18,000 for heads of household and $24,000 for married couples filing jointly and surviving spouses. According to the Tax Policy Center, the law will slash the number of people who itemize their charitable contributions by more than half to 16 million, the vast majority of whom are high earners.

2017 may well be a record breaking year for philanthropy in the United States. Americans have an opportunity to make charitable giving history. From 1976 through most of the 1990s, total giving was less than 2% of gross domestic product (GDP).

Billionaire pioneers in the tech industry led a near- record year of charitable giving by America ’s superrich in 2017 , even as the country wrestled with income equality that some say is exacerbated by the wealth amassed by these philanthropists.

The year of magical giving is especially inspiring considering the current contentious political atmosphere across the country, the report noted.

"Americans’ record-breaking charitable giving in 2017 demonstrates that even in divisive times our commitment to philanthropy is solid," said Aggie Sweeney, chair of the Giving USA Foundation. “As people have more resources available, they are choosing to use them to make a difference. Contributions went up nearly across the board, signaling that Americans seem to be giving according to their beliefs and interests, which are diverse and wide-ranging.”

Researchers from IU found that giving rose by at least 5% in three of the four categories they considered — by corporations (8%), foundations (6%), and individuals (5%). Among the groups of recipients, foundations had the largest uptick in donations, increasing by 15.5%. This is thanks in large part to a few stand-out gifts of over $1 billion each from philanthropists Bill and Melinda Gates, Michael and Susan Dell and Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan to their respective foundations.

Religious groups remain the largest recipient of charitable funds, seeing an increase of 2.9% in 2017 to $127.37 billion accepted. Gifts to education, human services, public society, health, the arts and the environment all rose by at least 5.1%, totaling nearly $210 billion for the year. The only category that saw a reduction in donations was international affairs (-4.4%), which sbrought in $23 billion.

65 percent of Americans say it’s ‘morally acceptable’ to smoke pot .
Liberals and moderates view it as akin to drinking, but conservatives differ.That's a sharp jump from 2013, when a similarly worded question in a Public Religion Research Institute survey found that slightly fewer than half of Americans said it was morally acceptable to smoke marijuana.

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