Donations to charity dropped nationally last year despite a strong economy

    Donations to charity dropped an inflation-adjusted 1.7% in the United States last year, despite a strong economy, according to a new report, highlighting changes to federal tax law and continuing trends in who makes charitable gifts, The Washington Post reports.

    The estimated $427.71 billion donated to U.S. charities in 2018 represented a growing share of gifts from foundations and corporations, according to a Giving USA report released this morning, which is considered the most comprehensive annual study of philanthropy.

    The overall decrease is the first drop in charitable giving in the country since the Great Recession, the organization said.

    Corporate donations increased by 2.9% last year. Foundation gifts jumped 4.7%. But giving from individuals—the traditional bread-and-butter of American charities—dropped 3.4% last year.

    Many charities had warned that individual donations would decline under President Trump’s federal tax overhaul, which took effect last year. The tax plan slashed corporate and some individual tax rates, but it also stopped millions of Americans from qualifying for the charitable tax deduction.

    Supporters of the tax changes said increased economic growth would more than makeup for the deduction’s loss. But donations dropped in inflation-adjusted terms last year and stood essentially flat with a 0.7% rise in real terms—even as the economy continued to grow. Read the full story.

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