The latest Giving USA report on charitable giving reminds me of two people from the upper Midwest who take a winter vacation to San Diego. During their first day in southern California, the day is partly sunny, with a temperature of 78 degrees. The first person proclaims gratitude for a warm, comfortable day. The other person is glad to have packed a sweatshirt since the weather is so chilly.
The same data point: partly sunny and 78 degrees. Two different reactions.
Similar responses have been made in the wake of this year’s Giving USA report, which announced that charitable giving topped $427 billion in 2018. On one hand, this amount is the second highest on record and $17 billion higher than the previous year. On the other hand, charitable giving declined by 1.7 percent when adjusting for inflation.