Giving USA has reported that philanthropic giving in the United States topped $300bn for the first time in a single year. the $306bn given by US donors in 2007 is the largest sum ever donated, as reported by the BBC.
While this is certainly good news for anyone in the philanthropic fields, caution is advised under our current economic situation - especially to those in the arts. As we reported in a previous blog entry, the vast majority of philanthropic monies is targeted to US religious organizations. The BBC also echos the fears of reduced monies due to the economic slow-down and rising costs of oil.
The squeeze will be an ongoing effect as companies are writing their budgets for the advanced years. Just like the slow-down after September 11th, the monies were there initially as hold over from previous budgets was being used - it wasn't until 2003 or 2004 that the real cash shortages were truly felt.
Yet, at the same time, attendance was on the rise. Hopefully, the need for the entertainment and dialogue will continue to sustain us through hard times.