Americans donated a record $471.4 billion (€396.99 billion) to US charities in 2020, much of it from fortunes made in the technology sector.
According to Giving USA’s annual report, estimated total philanthropy – about 70% generated from private individuals – was 3.8% higher than in 2019, already correcting for inflation.
The biggest increase came from the foundation, which donated US$88.6 billion (€74.61 billion), or 15.6% more than a year ago, at a time when the pandemic took away their jobs. millions of citizens. Individuals donated $324.1 billion (272.94 billion euros), an increase of 1%. Corporate donations, which often coincide with the ups and downs of profits and the economy, fell 7.3 percent to $16.9 billion, or about 14.23 billion euros.
“It was an unprecedented year in many ways,” says Una Osili, associate director of research and international programs at the Lille Faculty of Philanthropy. “In March, there was record unemployment, but as the end of the year approached it was one of the best periods the financial markets have ever seen and this has implications for charitable giving as people feel financially secure when charities come to an end.” We do.”
One notable leap in giving came from Mackenzie Scott, a writer who was married to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. Scott has channeled $6 billion to a wide range of educational and social organizations. On Tuesday, the 15th, it announced that it had donated an additional $2.7 billion.
“We are all trying to donate to the fortunes made possible by the systems that need to change,” Mackenzie Scott said. In a July 2020 publication on Medium, Scott announced a $1.7 billion donation to non-profit organizations historically involved in colleges and universities and groups fighting for racial and gender equality and economic mobility. Scott also enlisted the help of advisers to “expeditiously accelerate support for those suffering the economic effects of the crisis”. In December 2020, it announced grants of around 4.2 billion to 384 NGOs.
Where donations rise and fall in 2020
Jack Dorsey, co-founder of social network Twitter and founder of payments company Square, also had a major impact on the philanthropy world in 2020 when he pledged to allocate up to $1 billion from his stake in Square to an entity that would fund A relief package for covid-19 global.
Most recently, Dorsey donated $2.9 million raised from the sale of his first tweet in the form of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to GiveDirectly, an NGO that helps the poorest sections of the planet.
In 2021, the biggest impact on the world of philanthropy may come from the consequences of the impending divorce of Bill and Melinda Gates, which depends on the impact of the separation on the foundation to their name and is worth $50 billion. Melinda announced in 2020 that Pivotal Ventures, the investment and incubation firm she owns, will team up with Scott to launch the Equality Can’t Weight Challenge, a $30 million fundraising initiative to help organizations come up with ways to strengthen women by 2030. will award. .
In the US Congress, efforts are also underway to encourage donations from the wealthy more quickly. The richest usually take advantage of tax deductions that allow the allocation of funds to investment funds and also allow them to defer decisions on donations. The tax incentive of the so-called funds, advised by donors, can reach 57% of the amount in question.