Philanthropy resilient in economic downturn, says new report

Philanthropy resilient in economic downturn, says new report

News (International, UK)

The financial crisis is unlikely to reduce levels of giving, according to a report from Irish management consultants, 2into3.

Looking at past stock market crises in the United States, the report, ‘Fundraising in a Cold Climate’, says that major crises normally result in an increase in giving, and that recession does not typically result in a dramatic drop in giving.

The report also said that strategic givers are likely to maintain or increase levels of giving, although the number of smaller gifts may do down.

Dennis O’Connor, director of 2into3 and co-author of the report said, “The current economic climate may in fact galvanise some potential philanthropists who would have amassed significant wealth in recent years.”

The report looked at thirteen crisis events, such as Pearl Harbour, the assassination of John F. Kennedy and the financial crisis of 1987. Giving rose in the year following each of these events, by between 1.2% and 46.8%, with the exception of the S&P Index crash in 1987, when giving fell by 1.3% in the year following the event.  The 1987 market crash was three times larger than that of 29 September 2008.

The report used research from The Centre on Philanthropy at Indiana University to assert that, between 1959 and 1999, giving increased on average in the US by 3% per year and fell by an average of only 0.7% for each year in recession.

The full report is available online.

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