Total Charitable Donations In Connecticut Rises; Number Of Individuals Giving Falls

By Hayley Harding | June 21, 2018 | Hartford Courant

Total charitable donations are on the rise in Connecticut, but fewer people are giving, a report released last week from the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy found.

In its Connecticut Giving Report, the council shared how both individuals and foundations gave more money in 2015, the latest year for which data is available. Giving from foundations rose from $1.02 billion in 2014 to $1.2 billion in 2015, while individual donations rose from $3.4 billion to $3.48 billion over the same period.

Laurie Allen, director of communications for the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy, said that trend shows a positive growth.

“It’s been creeping up for a while,” Allen said. “I hope that trend will continue moving forward, but I can’t see into the future.”

The report gave her hope, she said, because it demonstrated that people in Connecticut value giving to charitable organizations. New England states rank low in general giving — the report said Connecticut is ranked 20th, for instance, despite being ranked first in both household and per capita income — but Allen said that likely didn’t reflect the full truth as a result of how the information is collected.

Despite the rise in total donations, the number of donors fell. According to the report, that falls in line with national trends, but it can still be worrisome to charitable organizations.

Gian-Carl Casa, president and CEO of the Connecticut Community Nonprofit Alliance, said funding reductions combined with an increased demand for services and the new federal tax law has created a combination of challenges for nonprofit organizations.

“People need to think about the necessary nature of nonprofits,” Casa said. “They bring cultural and artistic expression, they care for people’s needs, they make these cities work. A decline in nonprofits can damage the quality of life in Connecticut.”

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