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Think back on 2009 — a notorious year for the American economy and, of course, American philanthropy. Merriam-Webster touted “bailout” as the Word of the Year (2008), many institutions faced historic challenges and fundraising goals were reduced. That year, Dini Spheris surveyed philanthropists on their opinions about the economy and charitable giving. Of those surveyed, 25% felt uncertain about economic expectations, and capital campaigns were likely areas of support for about only one-third. At the time, insights were to adapt to the economic climate, stay the course and reassess.

With a clear sense that much has changed, Dini Spheris continued this line of questioning for 2016. We find now that over 50% of survey respondents indicate their giving will remain at the same level and 10% indicate their giving will increase. Insights from nearly half of respondents suggest interests in supporting a broad range of needs, including new gifts.

From these continued formal methods of inquiry and conversations with our clients across the non-profit sector, we see philanthropic positivity. For a few more insights from the 2016 survey, see the printable infographic here.

On a similar note, The Giving Institute, which consists of more than 45 member organizations that have embraced the core values of ethics, excellence and leadership in advancing philanthropy, will release its Giving USA 2015 annual review of sources and uses of American charitable giving on June 14. Giving USA, published by the Giving USA Foundation™ and researched and written by the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, has been the authoritative resource on the sources and uses of charitable giving in the United States since 1955. Dini Spheris will support this national release on June 14 — complemented with our own local findings — on a lunchtime presentation at United Way of Greater Houston. More information about the event will be available on our news and events page of our website when it becomes available.