The State of Giving in Maryland 2002

The top 25 Maryland foundations hold 75% of assets and make 67% of contributions.

Maryland is a state of great wealth and substantial need—of enormous assets and serious challenges. After several years of skyrocketing profits and increases in charitable giving, we are now in a time of economic downturn. During such a time, needs increase and giving typically decreases. Looking ahead, we foresee a time of more challenges rather than fewer: tighter purse strings and more difficult choices about giving.

We hope that this brief snapshot will serve as a catalyst to encourage new and increased giving for the good of the people, families, and communities throughout the state.

Despite declining assets, foundation giving increased in 2001.

In the Nation
In Maryland
Maryland’s wealthiest residents (those earning $200,000 and above) still appear to be less generous than their counterparts in other states. Why is this?
In Maryland, three large foundations accounted for the bulk of the increase in the state’s foundation giving. Maryland foundations gave a total of $564 million in 2001.
In Central Maryland:
Of the 1256 foundations, 52% are located in Central Maryland, with assets of $6.8 billion, or 75%. Central Maryland foundations gave $295 million in 2001, 70% of total giving.
Foundation Giving:
How much was given to charitable causes and organizations in 2001 in the United States? Giving USA estimates that a total of approximately $212 billion was given to charitable causes in 2001. Individuals gave $161 billion, foundations gave $25.9 billion, bequests contributed $16.3 billion, and corporations made $9.1 billion in donations to charitable causes and organizations. Giving by individuals accounts for the vast majority of charitable donations in the US.
Nationally, individual giving accounted for 75.8% of all charitable giving in 2001, and bequest giving accounted for 7.7% of total giving.
In Maryland:
Maryland has typically been seen as a less generous state than most; this year’s data allows the interpretation that Marylanders earning less than $200,000 may actually be more generous than their counterparts in other states. Some of our wealthiest residents (those earning $200,000 and above) still appear to be less generous than their counterparts in other states. Why is this? Are they less inclined to give than wealthy residents of other states? Do a number of these individuals give more generously through businesses they may own or through family foundations or funds at community/public foundations? It is not known whether wealthy Marylanders are more likely to use these alternative vehicles for giving than their counterparts in other states. What we do know is that the wealthiest among us have the largest capacity to give. In 2000, the 215,698 Marylanders earning between $100,000 and $200,000 made an average contribution slightly above the national average; their generosity yielded $8 million more for worthy causes than if each had made just the national average contribution. The 60,416 Marylanders earning more than $200,000 made an average contribution of $17,833; this is $3468 less than the national average for that income group. If those with the greatest capacity to give would do so at the level of the national average, there would be more than $209 million in additional charitable dollars available to improve the quality of life in our communities. It is often difficult to compare individual giving data by state, since different percentages of taxpayers itemize returns in each state, and since states vary widely in average income per resident.
Individual Giving:
Corporate philanthropy takes many forms, including direct grants, employee release time for volunteering, matching employees’ donations to charitable organizations, and donating valuable goods and services. Corporate giving tends to decline more quickly than other forms of giving in times of economic downturn.

In Maryland:
In Maryland, corporate giving, after a large increase in 2000, declined in 2001.
A recent Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers/Baltimore Giving Project publication, The Maryland Business Giving Workbook, is being distributed across the state. This update to the 2001 report “The State of Giving in Maryland” was produced by the Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers and the Baltimore Giving Project. The Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers (ABAG) is a membership organization of foundations and corporate giving programs dedicated to strengthening and promoting organized philanthropy in Central Maryland. Call 410-727-1205 or email info@abagmd.org. The website is at abagmd.org.

The Baltimore Giving Project is an initiative housed at ABAG with the mission to promote, encourage and expand organized philanthropic giving in the greater Baltimore area by fostering the creation and expansion of new foundations, charitable funds, and corporate giving programs. Call 410-727-0719, email bgp@abagmd.org or visit baltimoregivingproject.org

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This story was published on April 5, 2003.