In Phil’s blog post this month, he discussed the successful growth of Truman Heartland’s scholarship program over the years and how 2023 will probably end up being another record-breaking year for our scholarship awards. We are incredibly proud of the continued growth of our family of funds and are pleased to see the community impact steadily grow. The same cannot be said, however, of giving nationally.

According to Giving USA 2023: The Annual Report on Philanthropy study, after record giving for the last two years, total giving was down in 2022. With both the stock market and Bond market down, 2022 giving reflected the economic uncertainty felt by many donors. Overall, total giving was down 3.4 percent before inflation (down 10.5 percent when adjusted for inflation). And although giving to foundations was up 2.5 percent and corporate giving saw gains of 3.4 percent, they were not as impressive as the large gains made during the Covid years of 2020 and 2021.

Giving USA state

Locally, we saw a lot of really positive growth in giving. There was a 20% increase in grants from our donor advised fundholders, a substantial increase. More than $6.3 million in grants and scholarships were distributed to students, nonprofits, and organizations throughout the region by THCF in 2022, a seven percent increase.

Our communities are some of the most generous in the country, and this data confirms that fact.

It also confirms the convenience and effectiveness of donor advised funds. Regardless of what the market is doing, individuals who utilize DAFs for their giving continue to make grants even when the market is down. They set their money aside for philanthropy, and it can be granted even in the most challenging economic times. As a matter of fact, a difficult economic market is often when thoughtful giving is needed most.

Although giving was down last year in the US, it will come back. Giving USA’s historical data clearly demonstrates the ebb and flow of giving through the years, and it often rebounds from this type of decline. So as the markets and economy begin to settle down, so will giving. Until then, THCF will continue to invest wisely, be a good steward, offer personal support and service, and help you change the world through philanthropy!