New FPN Report Shows Recession’s Toll on Florida’s Charitable Giving, But Outlook Is Brighter

Florida Philanthropic Network’s latest research report documents the serious toll that the economic recession has taken on charitable giving in Florida. The report confirms that the combined charitable giving of individuals, foundations and corporations in Florida dropped 8.6 percent between 2008 and 2009, which follows a double-digit decline the previous year. But on the bright side, the state’s charitable giving is estimated to have stabilized in 2010 and rebounded slightly in 2011.

The recession appears to have had an even greater negative impact on charitable giving in Florida than in the country as a whole. This is not surprising when you consider that Florida was hit harder by the recession than most other states. A growing number of Floridians have been forced to cut back on their charitable donations as they face new financial hardships.

Among the report’s findings:

  • Individuals, foundations and corporations in Florida gave $14.2 billion in charitable contributions in 2009, which is down significantly from pre-recession levels. But the state’s charitable giving is expected to have grown by more than $1.1 billion through 2011.
  • Three-quarters of contributions came from individual Floridians and nearly 10 percent came from the state’s foundations and corporate givers.
  • Florida is home to more than 4,100 active charitable foundations and corporate grantmakers, which together gave an estimated $1.26 billion to charity in both 2010 and 2011.
  • Florida foundations devoted the largest share of their grant dollars – 24.1 percent – to public affairs/society benefit nonprofits, according to the report. The next-largest share of the state’s foundation grant dollars went to nonprofits focused on human services (16.8 percent), health (16.5 percent) and arts & culture (14.2 percent).
  • More than half – 56.9 percent – of Florida foundations’ grant dollars went to nonprofit organizations located outside the state, and that percentage is down from the previous year.
  • Florida foundations gave about one-quarter of their grant dollars to general/operating support, which is higher than the national average.

You can download FPN’s report – “Giving in Florida: The State of Philanthropy in the Sunshine State, 2012 Edition” – from our website.

– David Biemesderfer, President & CEO, Florida Philanthropic Network

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