Education saw the highest percentage increase.... By contrast, houses of faith experienced another decline. (Image courtesy of franky242/FreeDigitalPhotos.net)
Charitable giving increased in 2013, even as donations to churches declined.
According to Giving USA's annual report, $335.17 billion was given in 2013, a 4.4 percent increase in giving from 2012.
"While charitable giving is still not at the pre-recession level achieved in 2007, total contributions have increased 12.3 percent since the recession ended in 2009," the report stated.
"If total giving continues to grow at current, inflation-adjusted rates, it could be just one or two more years for total giving to return to the peak level realized in 2007 ($349.50 billion)."
Individuals, foundations and bequests all increased their gifts while corporations decreased giving by 1.9 percent.
The report cited the slow growth of pre-tax profits as the primary reason for this decline.
Education saw the highest percentage increase, and there was significant growth in gifts to organizations focused on the arts, environment, health and public-society benefit.
By contrast, houses of faith experienced another decline.
In 2010, churches received 35 percent of all charitable gifts, an increase from 33 percent in 2009.
Since then, that percentage has decreased or remained the same each year--32 percent in 2011 and 2012, and 31 percent in 2013.
"This is the result of declining religious affiliation and attendance and increased giving to religious-oriented charitable organizations categorized within the other subsectors," the 2014 report stated.
Greg Carlson, chair of the Giving USA foundation, told the Christian Post, "A bit more than a decade ago [donations given to churches] accounted for over 57 percent of giving."
He also clarified that their data only reflects giving to churches, not faith-based organizations, charities or schools.
A summary of the charitable giving report is available for download here.