Nov 222014

Ever wonder which are the ten largest United States charitable assets giving billions annually to those in need around the world? Way out front by the widest margin, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation leads the list of top ten foundations in the United States — the latest data for year-end 2013 reveals, in terms of total giving (in billions of U.S. dollars).

According to the Foundation Center, as charted below by Statista, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has given to those in need $US 3.2 billion in 2013, far outpacing the second runner-up, the Ford Foundation, giving away $US 593.8 million (or about $US 0.594 billion) in 2013. Following at a highly charitable third place is the Walton Family Foundation, giving forth $US 423.8 million (or nearly $US 0.424 billion) to those in need during 2013.

Rounding out the top 10 list of the U.S. most charitable givers are:

#4 William and Flora Hewlett Foundation at $US 381.2 million ($US 0.381 billion);

#5 Susan Thompson Buffet Foundation at $US 367.2 million ($US 0.367 billion);

#6 Silicon Valley Community Foundation at $US 294 million ($US 0.294 billion);

#7 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation at $US 292.9 million ($US 0.293 billion);

#8 W.K. Kellogg Foundation at $US 259.9 million ($US 0.26 billion);

#9 Andrew W. Mellon Foundation at $US 258.1 million ($US 0.258 billion);

#10 Foundation to Promote Open Society at $US 257.9 million ($US 0.258 billion).

American nonprofit organization, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, founded by billionaire Bill Gates and his wife Melinda Gates, has reportedly backed British multimedia learning company Bull City with a donation of $US 660,000 to study how routine vaccinations are administered in clinics in rural Africa, according to the Triangle Business Journal.

The fund towards the 11-month project undertaken by Bull City would be used to study immunization and primary care practices in six clinics in rural Uganda using video, photography and live observation and ethnographic approaches, the Triangle Business Journal reports.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has invested $US 750 million in The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

The Global Journal reports: “Speaking at the World Economic Forum in 2012, Bill Gates announced a $750 million promissory note, allowing the Global Fund to continue its lifesaving programs through 2016 and bringing the Foundation’s total investment in the fund to $US 1.4 billion.”

Said Gates: “These are tough economic times, but that is no excuse for cutting aid to the world’s poorest. The Global Fund is one of the most effective ways we invest our money every year.”

Simon Bland, Chair of The Global Fund’s Board, responded delightfully to the Gates charitable secular gift by saying: “Millions of lives depend on a predictable stream of funding from the Global Fund. If the funding level stagnates now, the world will not achieve the great goals that are within reach, such as a world where no child is born with HIV, where no one needs to die from malaria, and eventually, a world where all who need it get effective drugs to treat TB and live with HIV.”

How healthy are U.S. charitable enterprises as of 2013?

Foundation Center statistics shows the top 10 philanthropic enterprises in the United States in 2013, by total assets are quite healthy.

#1 Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation at $US 37.2 billion;

#2 Ford Foundation at $US 11.2 billion;

#3 J. Paul Getty Trust at $US 10.5 billion.

#4 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation at $US 9.5 billion.

#5 W.K. Kellogg Foundation at $US 8.2 billion.

#6 William and Flora Hewlett Foundation at $US 7.7 billion.

#7 Lilly Foundation at $US 7.3 billion.

#8 David and Lucille Packard Foundation at $US 6.3 billion.

#9 John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation at $US 6 billion.

#10 Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation at $US 5.7 billion.

Where is charitable giving taking place around the world as of 2013?

Billionaires are interested in charitable stakeholder needs across global communities, involving what is termed as “secular” giving, focused on rising standards of living, urbanization, and population growth, and their impact on heightened protein consumption, not only in developed countries, but especially in under-developed countries and emerging economies around the world, according to Simon Smiles, Chief Investment Officer of UBS Wealth Management.

Wealthy individuals amount to 72% of total charitable giving of $US 335.17 billion in 2013, up 4.4% overall, according to the 2014 Giving USA report. These high net worth individuals are becoming more confident in giving to the secular causes they especially care about, as the net worth of charitable billionaires at $US 3.1 billion and mean high cash balances on-hand at $US 600 million continue to grow.

According to Giving USA, total contributions by sources (as percentages of all charitable giving at $US 335.17 billion in 2013, including in parenthesis percent increases (decreases) from 2012 giving levels) carves out as follows: Individuals at 72% (up 4.2% amounting to an additional $US 9.67 billion given to others in need, the greatest contributing increase, from 2012 charitable giving levels); Foundations at 15% (up 5.7%); Bequests at 8% (up 8.7%); and Corporations at 8% (down 1.9%).

Five charitable sectors have surpassed giving levels realized prior to the heart of the recession: 1. Education, 2. Human Resources, 3. Foundations, 4. Health, and 5. Environment and Animals.

Here’s the Giving USA breakdown of 2013 contributions to recipient organization (by percentages of total charitable giving at $US 335.17 billion in 2013): Religion (31%); Education, particularly to higher education and K-12 (16%); Human Resources (12%); Gifts to Foundations (11%); Health (10%); Public-Safety Benefit (7%); Arts, Culture and Humanities (5%); International Affairs (4%); Environmental and Animals (3%); and Gifts to Individuals (1%).

“All key economic factors associated with charitable giving grew in 2013 — such as the S&P 500 Index, U.S. Gross Domestic Product, and corporate profits, but generally were not as strong as compared with 2012,” the 2014 Giving USA analysis reveals. The analysis adds: the decline in corporate giving in 2013 was largely due to slower growth in pre-tax corporate earnings. Corporate giving as a percentage of these pre-tax corporate earnings was just 0.8 percent in 2013.

Charitable giving to religion slowed in 2013, says Giving USA, largely due to “declining religious affiliation and attendance and increased giving to religious-oriented charitable organizations” within other recipient sectors categorized above.

In addition, charitable giving to international affairs declined in 2013, mainly because of “fewer disaster-relief contributions compared with prior years, the decline in giving by corporations, and changes in donor giving preferences,” reports Giving USA.

Foundation Center statistics additionally show international giving amounts by U.S. charities, as of 2013, by the geographic region worldwide where funds were specifically directed. As of 2013, the top region with respect to U.S. foundations giving to international causes was Sub-Saharan Africa with a total amount of 1.4 billion U.S. dollars being received.

Shaping out the top 8 list of global giving by U.S. foundations in 2013 by regions around the world (in terms of millions of U.S. dollars collected) are:

#2 Asia and The Pacific at $US 1.1 billion;

#3 Latin America and Mexico at $US 374 million.

#4 Western Europe at $US 271 million.

#5 North Africa and the Middle East at $US 266 million.

#6 Canada at $US 84 million.

#7 Caribbean at $US 73 million.

#8 Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and Russia at $US 70 million.

The top donating countries are shown below in terms of millions of U.S. dollars given to international aid in 2013. In this latest recorded year, the United States donated around $US 4.7 billion in aid worldwide, followed by EU-Institutions (at $US 1.9 billion), United Kingdom (at $US 1.8 billion), Turkey (at $US 1.6 billion), Japan (at $US 1.1 billion), Germany (at $US 949 million), Sweden (at $US 785 million), Canada (at $US 691 million), Norway (at $US 613 million), and France (at $US 427 million).

What is the impact of diversity and participation in charitable giving?

In the age of demography shift and heightened engagement, generational philanthropy and charitable giving is setting the standard for future generations of giving.

Baby-boomer charitable wealth owners say, “I want to have an effect as a supporter.” Watergate’s impact on institutions during the baby-boomer era inspires a need for integrity and trust held by these donors in such well-endowed institutions, including churches, schools, colleges and universities, private family foundations, and public charities.

Inspired by inherited responsibility and accountability, resulting from baby-boomers giving back now in record numbers, Generation-X wealth givers declare “such well-endowed institutions are participating together in diverse ways of doing good stuff.

Generation-X charitable givers aim going forward to make some impact giving of their means chiefly in prevailing societal healthcare concerns of cancer research, oncology patient care, population-based clinical services, and high-end specialized holistic tertiary business care, including transplant, intensive-care and trauma services.

Contrast this going forward to “millennial generation” charitable givers, who like the baby-boomer generation, are the largest emerging generation early in this millennium — at about an 8% larger cohort than the baby-boomers). Millennial generation givers advocate “such well-endowed institutional diversity in giving is important right now. And, our multi-cultural, multi-ethnic world needs to fully participate in giving right away.”

Draw an additional distinction and look even further forward to “21st Tercentennial generation” charitable givers. They participate, engage and trust, such well-endowed institutions to “make a difference.” Cohorts of this highly-shifted demography of givers have high expectations of a diverse institution working for future benefits of the next generation and the generation after that. These charitable donors say, “Show Us,” and “Prove It, Now!

Moreover, the 21st Tercentennial generation givers say, “We are looking way far out ahead in our giving forward.” This cohort of givers are even reaching as far out and beyond towards America’s Tercentennial – On Getting to 2076!

Altogether, humanitarian and moral benefits to baby-boomer donors and their private retirement philanthropic endeavors have been the central motivation and intent of baby-boomer charitable giving and planning. Tax benefits resulting from such secular giving and good societal endeavors on the road to stakeholder value have also assumed increasing importance. This has become especially acute, as the complex needs of the country and the world have substantially grown in scale and scope now and into the future.

America is a generous nation.

Remarkably, Americans are an extraordinarily generous people. Most of all, our generosity is not necessarily just tied to tax benefits of charitable giving.

Alexis de Tocqueville in Democracy in America records the American citizenry gives back to lean forward “without reference to any bureaucracy, or any official agency.”

Inside the most recent Giving USA, Americans are indeed extremely generous in giving forward to charities and philanthropic organizations at nearly $US 335.17 billion dollars as of 2013, just under the $US 349.50 billion in total charitable giving back in 2007 at the peak of the global financial crisis. This is equivalent to the net income of about 20% of all corporations of the Fortune 500 today.

To achieve this exceptional $US 335.17 billion-dollar amount of charitable generosity experienced by our citizenry, America invested an equivalency of nearly $4 trillion dollars in assets, sold about $6 trillion dollars in goods and services, and drew upon the combined productivity of more than 40 million employed workers.

That’s a lot of goodwill for all charitable Americans to feel good about giving to those in need, for sure!

The desire of power in excess caused angels to fall; the desire of knowledge in excess caused man to fall; but in charity is no excess, neither can man or angels come into danger by it.” — Francis Bacon (1561-1626), English essayist, philosopher, written in his essay, “Of Goodness.”


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