Giving to charitable causes exceeded $400 billion for the first time in the U.S., an increase from nearly $390 billion in 2016, according to a study from Giving USA.
The big picture: America's charitable giving has been stable since the 1970s, whether you measure it as a share of disposable income or GDP.
Why it matters: The study credits the $400 billion mark to "a booming stock market and a strong economy," Axios' Marisa Fernandez reports. But the study warns that the rise of mega-gifts could erode support from middle-class donors.
- In 2016, $1.49 billion in mega gifts was made by individuals, and $400 million in mega-gifts was made by endowment.
- In 2017, $4.1 billion was made in mega gifts by individuals, and $850 million in mega-gifts was made by endowment.
- "Una Osili, a dean and economics professor at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, says the school’s research shows that the percentage of U.S. households making charitable donations has declined steadily in recent years, from about 67 percent in 2000 to 56.6 percent in 2015 — the latest year for which data is available." [AP's David Crary]
Go deeper: More findings from the study