Chicagoans more likely to give to charity, IU study finds

CHICAGO – Chicagoans are more likely to give to charity on average than are people elsewhere in the U.S., according to a new report being released today by The Chicago Community Trust and the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, which conducted the study.philanthropy

The report, Giving in Chicago, is the first comprehensive study of individual, corporate and foundation giving in the six-county metropolitan Chicago region. It examines patterns of charitable giving by households and corporations across the region in 2013, and grant making by foundations and public charities in the region for 2012, the latest year for which data are available.

The Trust’s Centennial year begins on May 12, 2015 with On the Table 2015. Starting on this date and for the entire year after, the Trust will celebrate philanthropy in all its forms – not just monetary gifts, but also the contributions of volunteers that strengthen the region and impact the lives of others in countless ways.

Among the study’s key findings:

  • Chicagoans give to charity at higher rate than the national average. Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of households in the Chicago metro area donated to nonprofit organizations in 2013. Nationally, 59 percent of households contributed in 2010 (the latest year for which national data are available), other research by the school finds. Approximately two-thirds of households contributed in any given year between 2000 and 2008.
  • Almost 70 percent of households in the region reported giving $100 or more to charity in 2013, and more than half reported giving $500 or more. On average, Chicago-area donor households contributed about 3 percent of their annual income to nonprofits in 2013.
  • Chicagoans are motivated to help those in need. Most Chicago-area donor households (76 percent) said “helping individuals meet their basic needs” was their top motivation for giving, followed by “feeling that those who have more should help those who have less” (70 percent) and “personal values or beliefs” (67 percent).
  • Chicagoans give their time as well as their money. Approximately half (49 percent) of area households volunteered in 2013, and among those, about half (47 percent) volunteered once a week or more.
  • Most of Chicagoans’ giving helps people close to home. A large majority – 78 percent – of charitable dollars donated by Chicago metro area households stayed within the region in 2013.

The study indicated that local corporations also give back and support local causes. In 2012, corporate foundations in the Chicago region made approximately 3,500 grants of $4,000 or above, totaling $158 million. About 44 percent of grants and over half (51 percent) of the grant dollars awarded stayed in the area. Almost all companies surveyed (97 percent, or 68 companies) reported making charitable donations to nonprofits in fiscal year 2013, and 81 percent of surveyed donor companies gave to nonprofits in the Chicago metro region.

Corporations cited “needs in local communities,” particularly in communities where the corporation operates, as their highest priority (62 percent) for giving in the survey, and 29 percent cited it as at least a minor influence on their giving. Seventy-six percent of donor companies indicated they focus their giving on human services (including basic needs and a wide range of other social services). Beyond their charitable giving, a majority of companies surveyed reported that they invest in their communities in other ways as well. Among those, the most popular (82 percent) was employee volunteerism.

Foundations are also a crucial part of Chicagoland giving, according to the report. More than 2,000 grant making organizations located in the Chicago metro area made nearly 39,000 grants of $4,000 or more in 2012, with an estimated total value of $2.6 billion. Grant recipients in the Chicago metro area received more than 19,000 grants of $4,000 or more from more than 1,300 Chicago-area grant makers, accounting for about $1 billion or about 39 percent of total grant dollars made by Chicago-area grant makers in 2012.

View the full report and graphic overview.

About the Chicago Community Trust

The Chicago Community Trust, our region’s community foundation, partners with donors to leverage their philanthropy in ways that transform lives and communities. Since our founding in 1915, the Trust has awarded approximately $2.3 billion in grants to thousands of local and national nonprofits, including $164.5 million in 2014. Throughout our Centennial year, the Trust will celebrate how philanthropy in all its forms – time, treasure and talent – strengthens our region and impacts the lives of others in countless ways.

About the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy

The Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy is dedicated to improving philanthropy to improve the world by training and empowering students and professionals to be innovators and leaders who create positive and lasting change. The school offers a comprehensive approach to philanthropy through its academic, research and international programs and through The Fund Raising School, Lake Institute on Faith & Giving, and the Women’s Philanthropy Institute.

Herron Professor Anila Agha presents new exhibition: Intersections

Assistant Professor of Foundations Anila Quayyum Agha will present an exhibition of works created as part of her 2012-13 New Frontiers Research Grant from Indiana University. The exhibition entitled Intersections will be on view in the Frank and Katrina Basile Gallery from Sept. 25 – Oct.17, 2013.

Agha writes in the artist statement for Intersections:

I used a 2012-13 New Frontier’s Research Grant from Indiana University for a large-scale installation project composed of patterned wood. With this project I explored intersections of culture and religion, the dynamics and interpretation of space and sight as it threaded through cultures and emerged as varied expressions that redefine themselves with the passage of time. In this piece, a motif that is believed to represent certitude is explored to reveal its fluidity i.e. the geometrical patterning in Islamic sacred spaces. This project is meant to uncover the contradictory nature of all intersections; which are simultaneously boundaries and also points of meeting.

The Intersections project takes the seminal experience of exclusion as a woman from a space of community and creativity such as a Mosque and translates the complex expressions of both wonder and exclusion that have been my experience while growing up in Pakistan. The wooden frieze emulates a pattern from the Alhambra, which was poised at the intersection of history, culture and art and was a place where Islamic and Western discourses, met and co-existed in harmony and served as a testament to the symbiosis of difference. I have given substance to this mutualism with the installation project exploring the binaries of public and private, light and shadow, and static and dynamic. This installation project relies on the purity and inner symmetry of geometric design, the interpretation of the cast shadows and the viewer’s presence with in a public space.

The object in the Basile Gallery is a smaller version of the larger design.