In Midst of National Debate About the Charitable Deduction, Oregon Gives More Generously Than Nation as a Whole
The Oregon Community Foundation’s recently released 2013 Giving in Oregon Report has found that Oregon nonprofits received more than $1.6 billion in donations in 2011, up from just under $1.5 billion in 2010. Individual giving also increased in Oregon from 2010 to 2011 while giving nationally decreased during the same period. Additionally, individual giving in Oregon has recovered from the recession and giving rates are now higher than they were in 2007. This comes at a time when Congress is debating the merits of preserving the charitable deduction for individuals so charitable contributions can continue to support the vital programs and services on which Oregon, and American, communities rely.
“Proposals for deficit reduction that include weakening the charitable giving incentive will truly impede the ability of Oregon nonprofits to continue serving their communities,” said Max Williams, OCF President and CEO. “We are proud that Oregonians give more generously – both monetarily and of our time – than the nation as a whole, so ensuring that the charitable deduction remains intact will allow us to continue adding critical capacity to nonprofit services around our state.”
In 2011, Oregon (17th) outranked both California (25th) and Washington (38th) in contributions as a percent of income, despite a median household income lower than either of those states. And this generosity cuts across income levels with Oregonians at all income categories giving more than national averages. In 2011, the wealthiest Oregonians (those making more than $200,000 per year) gave an average of 3.8 percent of their incomes, compared to an average for wealthy Americans of 3.0 percent nationally.
According to data collected by the Corporation for National Community Service’s Volunteering and Civic Life in America report, Oregonians volunteer more than their counterparts nationally. In 2011, more than half of Oregon volunteers gave their time to education or religious organizations. Interestingly, almost half of adults (49 percent) whose parents volunteered frequently volunteer themselves, compared to 20 percent among those whose parents rarely or never volunteered. Parental involvement also helps account for how generously people give.
The Oregon Community Foundation has been publishing the Giving in Oregon Report for more than a decade in order to track philanthropy and its effects on the nonprofit sector. Information on giving in this release comes from 2011 Internal Revenue Service data. Find more data on 2011 contributions as a percent of income and 2011 state charitable giving rankings by reading the Giving in Oregon Report.