U.S. arts and culture philanthropy grows in 2012

Posted on: June 19, 2013

“In terms of donations, arts and culture was Americans’ fastest-growing charitable cause in 2012, rising an estimated 7.8% to $14.44 billion, according to a leading annual research report on charitable giving,” writes Mike Boehm in Tuesday’s (6/18) Los Angeles Times. “Donations to education rose second-fastest, with a 7% gain, according to the latest edition of ‘Giving USA,’ issued Tuesday by the Chicago-based Giving Institute and its research partner, the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University.… The ‘modest overall gains … mirrored the nation’s recent economic trends,’ it noted. Arts and culture’s share of all giving was 5 %—the second-smallest share among eight major charitable sectors identified in the report. A category lumping the environment and animal welfare received 3% of Americans’ largess…. Una Osili, director of research at the Lilly Family School, noted that during the recession and in the early years of recovery, many donors had focused their giving on ‘what they viewed as essential services to help others in need.’ The rapid increase for arts and culture in 2012,  she said, may suggest that some supporters regard the arts as a ‘personal … priority’ rather than an ‘essential,’ and are feeling more free to indulge it now that they think the economy has improved.”

Posted June 19, 2013