“It’s not how much we give, but how much love we put into giving.” –Mother Theresa
The holidays are upon us, a season known more than any other for giving. It is a beautiful thing that during the time of year with the most sales vying for our attention, Americans are at their most generous. And not just with their money: though December is when nonprofits see the most donations, it is also the month with the most volunteers. Even businesses take part in the giving season. There is something about the holidays that makes us turn outward: to those we know, through time with family and friends, and to those we don’t, through buying gifts for children without homes or serving at a soup kitchen.
At the Murdock Trust, we count ourselves lucky to see this kind of generosity on display year-round. From working with hundreds of nonprofits each year, we witness countless individuals showing up every day to give their time and money. Call this generosity or call it philanthropy: the spirit of giving is one and the same.
We have always believed that philanthropy is for everyone, and trends from the last few years of giving have shown that our fellow Americans agree. Here are a few highlights from a recent Giving USA report that show that Americans have been as generous as ever this year:
- Individual giving is up nearly 5% (and individual giving typically makes up almost 70% of all philanthropic support)
- Giving by corporations, including corporate giving programs, is up nearly 24%
- Giving to religious groups is up over 5%
- Giving to public-society benefit organizations, including national donor-advised funds, is up nearly 24%
- Giving to arts, culture, & humanities is up nearly 28%
As we end a year filled with both division and unity, strife and celebration, let us be encouraged that our fellow citizens are connected to us in a giving spirit. May we carry this generosity into every area of our lives in the new year, until every corner of our Pacific Northwest communities is a testament to the power of generosity for the common good.
There will always be more to give, and always be more work to be done, but this holiday season, we are grateful to you, our grantees, partners, and friends, for giving so much already.
Happy holidays! Thank you for the generous way you live!