March 6, 2018 Mark Hrywna
A family foundation is seeking the return of almost $23 million, part of a $100-million grant announced three years ago to the University of Chicago to established a world renowned center to study global conflicts.
This story has been updated to reflect the source of data.
An economy with a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $19.36 trillion probably should be able to squeeze out more than $390.05 billion to fund charitable endeavors, a social safety net, education, research and exploration. Depending on who is counting, the $390.05 billion reported in for 2016 in “Giving USA” is roughly 2 percent of the overall U.S. economy.
Contributions to Fidelity Charitable, the nation’s largest commercial donor-advised fund (DAF), jumped almost 30 percent last year, including a tenfold increase in cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, and noncash donations of almost $1 billion.
Colleges and universities continued to ride a hot stock market last year, with gifts by individuals, particularly donated securities, driving donation levels to another new record.
Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon and owner of The Washington Post, took to Twitter in June 2017 to ask for ideas about a philanthropy strategy. Specifically, he was seeking ways to help people in the short term as well as long term.
The nation’s largest nonprofits had continued revenue growth last year not only from increased giving from the public but also fees and revenue derived from their programs. The ups-and-downs of the stock market knocked around some portfolios but nonprofits generally still were in the black when it came to gains.
Overall giving was down 6 percent through the first half of 2017 as compared to 2016 as 5 percent fewer donors gave as compared to the first six months of last year. The slow start has placed organizations across the country in a hole that only an epic year-end campaign can dig out.
Giving to nonprofit hospitals and health care systems in the United States was up by 5 percent last year while giving to their Canadian counterparts saw the first increase since 2013.
Two universities on opposite ends of the United States were recipients of their largest-ever contributions, together totaling almost a half-billion dollars.