How Florida’s Philanthropic Landscape is Changing – Florida Trend
Mari Kuraishi, president of the Jacksonville-based Jessie Ball duPont Fund, says Floridians often get bad press when it comes to charitable giving.
“When I came to the Jessie Ball duPont Fund three years ago, there were a lot of things like, ‘Oh, well, Floridians aren’t very generous because they’re all transplant recipients, and they give back to d ‘where they come from’ – or at least that was the assumption, right?” Kuraishi said. Another refrain she heard was that the Sunshine State is filled with retirees on fixed incomes who were less inclined to open the cords of their scholarship. But none of that sounded true to Kuraishi
“My anecdotal experience was that Floridians are perfectly generous, as generous as anyone else, so I just wanted to get the data,” she says.
Seeking answers, the fund and the Florida Nonprofit Alliance, a statewide coalition of nonprofits, commissioned Indiana University’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy to examine the topic in a study conducted by the Public Opinion Research Lab at the University of North Florida. Their findings confirmed Kuraishi’s suspicions: According to the “Giving in Florida” report, 69% of Floridians donated to charities in 2021 – which is almost on par with the 71% of US households who reported having is donating to charity in 2020 – and the bulk of those donations (74% of donated funds) stays in the state.
In 2007, charitable giving by Floridians reached $12.8 billion, but fell after the Great Recession to $9.9 billion. Donations returned to pre-recession levels in 2015 and soared to nearly $18 billion in 2017, before changes to the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act took effect . This policy change nearly doubled the standard deduction (from $6,500 to $12,000 for single filers and from $13,000 to $24,000 for married couples), making it less beneficial for many filers to itemize claims. deductions — and in 2018, the number of Florida donors reporting charitable contributions to the Internal Revenue Service dropped nearly 63%. According to an analysis by the Florida Nonprofit Alliance, overall dollar contributions did not decrease proportionally during this period, as wealthy donors “significantly” increased their donations.
Give in Florida
The Jessie Ball duPont Fund and the Florida Nonprofit Alliance commissioned Indiana University’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy to examine giving trends in Florida. Some discoveries:
- 87% – Percentage of Floridians who engage in some type of “informal” philanthropy — giving monetary donations outside of the context to registered organizations, such as charities and foundations. Examples include participating in crowdfunding campaigns, donating goods to a food bank, or donating money to someone who is homeless.
- 56% — Floridians who reported volunteering in 2021 — two-thirds of those aged 40 or under spend time volunteering.
- 80% – Florida donors who say they made charitable donations out of “compassion for those in need”; almost half were motivated to give by seeing friends donate, and 35% said that donating to charities made them feel useful.
Top reasons Floridians stop donating to nonprofits:
- 62% — Poor management of donations.
- 60% — Charitable organizations working on different issues.
- 60% — Organizations spend too much on administration and fundraising.
- 59% — Receiving too many requests for money from organizations.
Top issues that matter most to Floridians:
- 43% — Poverty and income inequality.
- 41% — Health.
- 28% — Climate change and environment.
- 28% — Animal rights.
- 27% — Disaster relief and recovery.
- 25% – Florida households who donated to racial justice causes, with an average donation of $1,335. The primary way Floridians contributed to these causes was through direct support for individuals and families, such as through crowdfunding sites (e.g., GoFundMe) or through self-help, hyperlocal, volunteer-run groups that informally organize themselves to meet the needs of their community. Twelve percent of respondents support racial justice causes through established nonprofits — such as the NAACP, Urban League, United Negro College Fund and other groups — while 11% gave to grassroots groups , such as Black Lives Matter, bail funds and other organizations focused on criminal justice reform.
Give by Wealth
- $1,035 — Average donation in Florida in 2021.
- $15,294 — Average Donation of High Net Worth Floridians — defined as households with annual income of at least $200,000 and/or net assets of $1 million (excluding primary residence).
High net worth donors were also found to be:
- More likely to volunteer than the typical Floridian — 80% versus 56%.
- More likely to donate because their friends did than the typical Floridian — 56% versus 48%.
- More likely to donate to receive a tax credit than the typical Floridian — 37% versus 19%.
- More likely to donate a larger share of their donations to organizations not based in Florida.
Generational giving gaps
Florida Donors 40 and Under:
- Are more likely than their elders counterparts to volunteer – 66% vs. 43% – or donate online, through an app or through a crowdfunding campaign.
- Are more likely to donate to environmental causes — 42% versus 31%.
- Are more likely to stop giving because an organization has not acknowledged or acknowledged their contribution — 53% versus 22% — or because an organization mismanaged donations — 75% versus 55%.
Florida Donors Age 65+:
- Are more likely than their younger counterparts to support formal charities — 75% versus 66%.
- Giving greater support to organizations in Florida — 72% versus 62%.
- Are more likely to give in out of compassion to those who need it and are more likely to believe they can be trusted — 67% versus 53%.
While Southeast Florida accounts for the largest share of donations, the share of dollars going to Florida charities is more evenly distributed across the state.
Source: Florida Nonprofit Alliance; the Jessie Ball duPont Fund; Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI
- 9% — Percentage of the $471.4 billion given by Americans in 2020 by bequest, that is, a gift in their will or estate plan.
- 8% — Percentage of Florida households that have wills designating a gift to a Florida nonprofit.
- 16% – Respondents age 65 and older who had a bequest will, 60% of whom named a Florida charity.
- 41% — Affluent households containing a bequest, with 74% citing a Florida charity.
- Donors those most likely to leave a charitable bequest to a Florida-based nonprofit were younger and more likely to be Hispanic or Black.