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Peter Getty is a philanthropist and contributing blogger for the Huffington Post. His work and writings revolve around environmental issues. Getty's philanthropic initiatives, as well as the organizations he supports, are committed to protecting the environment and spreading environmental awareness.

$358.38 Billion Donated to Charity By Americans in 2014

Donations on the rise

Donations on the rise

According to the 60th anniversary edition of the Giving USA report, charity among Americans has been increasing on an exponential manner, an estimated $358.38bn in 2014. This figure represents the highest total of philanthropic donations in 60 years.

2014 represents the fifth year in a row where charity went up, which indicates an uptick in giving overall, the average yearly increase hovering around 5.5 percent American dollars. The breakdown of total percentage in giving was reported as such:

Individuals – 72 percent of the total

Corporations – 5 percent of total

Foundations – 15 percent of total

Bequests – 8 percent of total

The increase in giving has been attributed to the overall boost in the economy, according to the Giving USA group, a public service initiative that collects and reports charitable giving in the U.S. The most comprehensive of its kind in America, the report is researched and written by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.

Chair of the Foundation and President of nonprofit consulting firm The Curtis Group, W. Keith Curtis said, “Individual giving is affected by available disposable income at the household level, wealth and growth in the S&P 500. All three increased last year as did the amount people spent in general—not just on charitable donations.”

Continued Curtis, “With virtually every economic indicator that gets measured showing growth, I think it’s safe to conclude they played a large part in making 2014 a banner year for giving from every source.”

The most promising impact of this increase in giving will be a much needed shift in focus for nonprofits and philanthropic foundations towards expanding rather than scrambling to stay afloat.

Here’s hoping the 2015 Giving USA report will disclose similar positive stats, especially with the current tumultuous state of the S&P as it stands this summer.