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CT charitable giving jumps 11% to record high

BY Matt Pilon

6/12/2018
Despite a slow decline in the number of Connecticut foundations and individuals making charitable donations and grants, giving rose 11 percent to a record $5 billion in 2015, the most recent for which data is available, the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy (CCP) said Tuesday.

The approximately $500 million increase follows a dip of 3.2 percent the year prior.

Despite the growth, CCP's "Connecticut Giving Report" says it is concerned that recently enacted federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which could hurt giving moving forward. Forbes reported earlier this year that the law is expected to shrink the number of households claiming an itemized deduction for charitable giving and reduce the income tax subsidy for giving by 33 percent.

[Read a synopsis of the law's potential impact on nonprofits here]

In 2015, individual giving continued to be the biggest portion of the Connecticut's total charitable giving, at $3.48 billion, up 2.3 percent from $3.40 billion in 2014, CCP said. The largest recipient category was "basic needs."

Giving by Connecticut's 1,669 foundations grew 17 percent, to $1.20 billion, even as total assets dipped. The largest recipient category was health.

Out-of-state foundations donated $419 million to Connecticut nonprofits.

However, the bulk of Connecticut's 2015 increase was a result of bequests, an unpredictable source of donations that rose from $90 million to $330 million in 2015, CCP said.

While Connecticut ranks high for its charitable giving -- 74 percent of households here gave money to charity in 2015, according to a study by Indiana University -- the number of those that give has fallen 13 percent since 2005, CCP noted.