Oregon Community Foundation’s ‘Giving in Oregon’ Report Highlights Current Trends in Donations to Nonprofits

U.S. rate of giving increases, while Oregonian donations remain relatively flat.

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Utilizing data from two decades of tracking philanthropy and its effects on the nonprofit sector, Oregon Community Foundation today released its annual Giving in Oregon report, which details the amount of charitable contributions reported by Oregon’s nonprofits, in addition to the trends in individual giving as reported by Oregonians themselves.

The report compares the most recent year of available data (2016) with the prior year and explores multiple, five-year trends across the data. Highlights include:

• Nonprofits in Oregon reported $2.8 billion in donations from individuals as well as government and foundation grants in 2016. Since 2010, contributions to nonprofits have increased by nearly 50 percent.

• Oregonians gave 2.22 percent of their income to charity in 2016 (the most recent year for which income tax return data is available). While giving rates in the state remained flat between 2015 and 2016, the U.S. rate increased from 2.19 percent in 2015 to 2.31 percent in 2016.

• Between 2015 and 2016, Oregon giving was flat regardless of income level. During the same time period, national giving rate increases appear to track to the wealthiest Americans. Households making over $200,000 annually increased their giving from 3.2 percent of income in 2015 to 3.5 percent in 2016.

As Oregon’s largest public charity, Oregon Community Foundation distributes nearly $100 million annually in grants and scholarships.  Through grant making, research, advocacy and community building, OCF guides donors toward more strategic giving that reflects individual priorities and community needs.  

“Working together with donors, community leaders, volunteers and thousands of nonprofits, we see the  impact of those philanthropic investments, and how vital the work of Oregon’s nonprofits are to ensure expanded opportunities for Oregonians in communities that need it most,” said Max Williams, President and CEO of Oregon Community Foundation.

Williams pointed to OCF’s community grants program, established in 1973, as a foundational responsive grant making vehicle for distributing donated dollars to priority areas identified by communities.   In the Fall 2018 community grant cycle alone, OCF announced an increase in giving: nearly $4 million in grants, including $860,000 matched donations through donor-advised funds.  Examples include:

• To increase community access to educational resources, donors contributed heavily to OCF’S recent grant to the Grants Pass Rotary Foundation, making it possible for the organization to distribute a book each month to preschool aged children in Josephine County. In its first three months, the program enrolled and supplied books to 900 children.

• To support a grant aimed to help build resiliency for vulnerable young families in Lincoln
County, OCF donors funneled donations to the Olalla Center for Children & Families—a holistic, therapeutic preschool for young children that also provides educational resources and support for parents.

• OCF commitment to strengthening pathways to employment was advanced through generous donations to Dress for Success of Oregon, a non-profit dedicated to creating career opportunities in the tech industry for lower-income women, especially women of color.  

This holiday season, OCF is joining the Nonprofit Association of Oregon, M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust and The Ford Family Foundation in asking friends and colleagues to step up their giving to Oregon’s nonprofits.

For those who would like to give, but are uncertain which organization to support, the OCF Leadership Fund is one option to help OCF promote, develop and increase philanthropy in every corner of Oregon.

Read the full Giving in Oregon 2016 report, here.

About Oregon Community Foundation – Oregon Community Foundation (OCF) puts donated money to work in Oregon – more than $100 million in grants and scholarships annually. For nearly 45 years, OCF grant making, research, advocacy and community-advised solutions have helped individuals, families, businesses and organizations create charitable funds to improve lives for all Oregonians. Impactful giving – time, talent and resources from many generous Oregonians – creates measurable change.

For more information about OCF, please visit: www.oregoncf.org