Although financial investments suffered epic losses as a result of the 2008 recession, giving by foundations has increased by 9.6% in the four-year period ending in 2010. In the same period there was a -10.5% change in local foundations’ assets.
Despite the recession, giving by businesses in the region remains robust. Before the economic downturn, the 2004 Private Dollars for Public Good report had indicated the strong role of St. Louis-area corporations in philanthropy.
As of 2012, many corporations with a local presence continue to give generously. Nearly $60 million was given by the 10 top corporate grantmakers with a base of operation or major market in St. Louis. And St. Louis-area organizations are often the beneficiaries: Half of these corporate funders directed more than 70% of their charitable dollars to nonprofit organizations in the region.
Households have been hit hard by joblessness, foreclosures, and tough economic conditions. Giving by individuals continues to be strong constituting the primary force behind charitable and philanthropic activity in the region.
Although the total dollar amount across the state may have decreased, the average itemized charitable contribution per return has held steady at about $4,250.
Going forward the trend is for nonprofits and funders to focus more on community capacity through Performance Partnerships, Philanthropic Equity, and Creative Cross-Sector Advocacy.