Donors Turn to Foundations as Charitable Giving Rebounds from Recession Lows

Barry L. Stoltzfus, Executive Director, Univest Foundation

Barry L. Stoltzfus From 1972 to 2007, charitable giving in the United States climbed steadily – sometimes spectacularly (between 1995 and 2000) – peaking at nearly $345 billion in 2007. But the recession, predictably, had a deleterious effect on U.S. philanthropy. Overall giving tumbled 15% between 2007 and 2009.

According to a recently released report prepared by USA Foundation and the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, charitable giving is slowly recovering. Total 2012 giving to charities was $316.23 billion, up 3.5% over 2011. The primary beneficiaries of this increased giving appear to be arts, culture and humanities organizations, to which giving increased 7.8%, followed by educational institutions (7%) and environmental and animal-related groups (6.8%).

What were the sources of charitable contributions? Individual giving was far and away the leading source, followed by giving through foundations. But the increase in giving through foundations – a 4.4% increase – exceeded that of individuals and bequests and was second only to corporate contributions.

Univest Foundation has a number of charitable annuities and trusts – charitable gift annuities, charitable unitrusts, charitable annuity trusts, charitable lead trusts – that offer donors immediate income tax deductions, capital gains tax advantages and other donor/recipient benefits.

Univest FoundationTo find out more about Univest Foundation's portfolio of charitable giving options, contact the team at 215-703-5247 or email We can help you explore a variety of planned gift options to meet your financial needs and goals.

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