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A donation is a
gift A gift or a present is an item given to someone without the expectation of payment or anything in return. An item is not a gift if that item is already owned by the one to whom it is given. Although gift-giving might involve an expectation o ...

gift
for
charity Charity may refer to: Giving * Charitable organization or charity, a non-profit organization whose primary objectives are philanthropy and social well-being * Charity (practice), the practice of being benevolent, giving and sharing * Charity (virtu ...
,
humanitarian aid Humanitarian aid is material and logistic assistance to people who need help. It is usually short-term help until the long-term help by the government and other institutions replaces it. Among the people in need are the homeless Home ...
, or to benefit a cause. A donation may take various forms, including
money In a 1786 James Gillray caricature, the plentiful money bags handed to King George III are contrasted with the beggar whose legs and arms were amputated, in the left corner">174x174px Money is any item or verifiable record that is generally a ...

money
,
alms Alms (, ) or almsgiving involves giving to others as an act of virtue Virtue ( la, virtus ''Virtus'' () was a specific virtue in Ancient Rome. It carries connotations of valor, manliness, excellence, courage, character, and worth, perceived ...
,
services Service may refer to: Activities :''(See the Religion section for religious activities)'' * Administrative service, a required part of the workload of Faculty (academic staff), university faculty * Civil service, the body of employees of a governm ...
, or goods such as
clothing A kanga, worn throughout the African Great Lakes region Clothing (also known as clothes, apparel, and attire) are items worn on the body. Typically, clothing is made of fabrics or textiles, but over time it has included garments made from a ...

clothing
,
toy A toy is an item that is used primarily by children though may also be marketed to adults under certain circumstances. Playing with toys can be an enjoyable means of training young children for life experiences. Different materials like wood, ...

toy
s,
food Food is any substance consumed to provide Nutrient, nutritional support for an organism. Food is usually of plant, animal or Fungus, fungal origin, and contains essential nutrients, such as carbohydrates, fats, protein (nutrient), proteins, vi ...

food
, or
vehicle A vehicle (from la, vehiculum) is a machine A machine is any physical system with ordered structural and functional properties. It may represent human-made or naturally occurring device molecular machine A molecular machine, nanite, or ...

vehicle
s. A donation may satisfy medical needs such as
blood Blood is a body fluid Body fluids, bodily fluids, or biofluids are liquid A liquid is a nearly incompressible In fluid mechanics or more generally continuum mechanics, incompressible flow (isochoric process, isochoric flow) refers t ...

blood
or organs for transplant. Charitable donations of goods or services are also called ''
gifts in kindGifts in kind, also referred to as in-kind donations, is a kind of charitable giving in which, instead of giving money to buy needed goods and services, the goods and services themselves are given. Gifts in kind are distinguished from gifts of cash ...
''.


Donating statistics

In the United States, in 2007, the
Bureau of Labor Statistics The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is a unit of the United States Department of Labor The United States Department of Labor (DOL) is a cabinet-level department of the U.S. federal government responsible for occupational safety and health, ...
found that American households in the lowest fifth in terms of wealth, gave on average a higher percentage of their incomes to charitable organizations than those households in the highest fifth.
Charity Navigator Charity Navigator is a charity assessment organization that evaluates hundreds of thousands of charitable organization A charitable organization or charity is an organization whose primary objectives are philanthropy and social well-being ...
writes that, according to Giving USA, Americans gave $298 billion in 2011 (about 2% of GDP). The majority of donations were from individuals (73%), then from
bequestsA bequest is property given by Will and testament, will. Historically, the term ''bequest'' was used for personal property given by will and ''deviser'' for real property. Today, the two words are used interchangeably. The word ''bequeath'' is a ver ...
(about 12%), foundations (2%) and less than 1% from corporations. The largest sector to receive donations was religious organizations (32%), then education (13%). Giving has increased in 3 out of 4 years since 1971 (with the occasional declines occurring around recession years).
Blackbaud Blackbaud ( NASDAQ:BLKB) is a cloud computing Cloud computing is the on-demand availability of computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. Mode ...
reports that, in the US, online giving in 2012 grew by 11% on a year-over-year basis. The percentage of total
fundraising Fundraising or fund-raising is the process of seeking and gathering voluntary financial contributions by engaging individuals, businesses, charitable foundations, or governmental agencies. Although fundraising typically refers to efforts to gathe ...

fundraising
that comes from online giving was about 7% in 2012. This was an increase from 6% in 2011 and is nearing the record level of 8% from 2010 when online giving spiked in response to Haitian earthquake relief efforts. Steve MacLaughlin notes in the report that "the Internet has now become the first-response channel of choice for donors during disasters and other emergency events."The 2012 Charitable Giving Report\", Steve MacLaughlin
/ref> Blackbaud's 2015 Charitable Giving report revealed a 9% increase in online giving compared to 2014. In addition, online giving represented 7% of overall fundraising, with 14% of online donations made on mobile devices. Donations made on the international online giving day #GivingTuesday were up 52% from the previous year.


Legal aspects

Donations are given without return consideration. This lack of return
consideration Consideration is a concept of English law, English common law and is a necessity for simple contracts but not for special contracts (contracts by deed). The concept has been adopted by other common law jurisdictions. The court in ''Currie v Mis ...
means that, in
common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent or judge-made law, or case law Case law is the collection of past legal decisions written by courts and similar tribunal A tribunal, generally, is any person or institution with authority ...
, an agreement to make a donation is an "imperfect contract void for want of consideration." Only when the donation is actually made does it acquire legal status as a transfer or property. In politics, the law of some countries may prohibit or restrict the extent to which politicians may accept gifts or donations of large sums of money, especially from business or
lobby group Advocacy groups, also known as special interest groups, use various forms of advocacy Advocacy is an activity by an individual or group that aims to influence decisions within political, economic, and social institutions. Advocacy include ...
s (see
campaign finance Campaign finance, also known as election finance or political donations, refers to the funds raised to promote candidates, political parties A political party is an organization that coordinates candidates to compete in a country's electio ...
). Donations of money or property to qualifying charitable organizations are also usually
tax deductible Tax deduction is a reduction of income that is able to be tax A tax is a compulsory financial charge or some other type of levy imposed on a taxpayer (an individual or legal entity In law, a legal person is any person A person (plural p ...

tax deductible
. Because this reduces the state's tax income, calls have been raised that the state (and the public in general) should pay more attention towards ensuring that charities actually use this 'tax money' in suitable ways. There have been discussions on whether also a donation of time should be tax deductible. The person or institution giving a gift is called the donor, and the person or institution getting the gift is called the donee.


Donating in the name of others

It is possible to donate in the name of a third party, making a gift in honor or in memory of someone or something. Gifts in honor or memory of a third party are made for various reasons, such as holiday gifts, wedding gifts, in memory of somebody who has died, in memory of pets or in the name of groups or associations no longer existing. Memorial gifts are sometimes requested by their survivors (e.g. "in lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to ABC Charity"), usually directing donations to a charitable organization for which the deceased was a donor or volunteer, or for a cause befitting the deceased's priorities in life or manner of death. Memorial donations are also sometimes given by people if they are unable to attend the ceremony.


Donating Anonymously

There are also circumstances when people like to donate funds to their preferred causes by not revealing their names. Many donors such as public figures or philanthropists like to stay anonymous while making generous donations according to their wishes. Many donors like to stay anonymous because of their religious beliefs or simply don’t want any notoriety from giving.


See also

*
Charitable organization A charitable organization or charity is an organization whose primary objectives are philanthropy Philanthropy consists of "private initiatives, for the public good, focusing on quality of life Quality of life (QOL) is defined by the Wor ...
*
Charity (practice) The practice of charity is the Volunteering, voluntary giving of help to those in need, as a Humanitarianism, humanitarian act. There are a number of Philosophy, philosophies about charity, often associated with religion. Effective altruism is the ...
*
Crowdfunding Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising small amounts of money from a large number of people, in modern times typically via the Internet. Crowdfunding is a form of crowdsourcing and Alternative Finance, alternative ...

Crowdfunding
&
Humanitarian Crowdfunding Humanitarian crowdfunding is an emerging, donation-based crowdfunding vertical recognized by the Humanitarian aid, humanitarian community. It is classified as child category, nested under the generic term "charitable giving". Defining characteris ...
Crowdfunding for Emergencies
, by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
* Donation (canon law) *
Effective altruism Effective altruism is a philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existence, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, mind, and Philoso ...
*
Gift economy A gift economy or gift culture is a mode of exchange where Anthropological theories of value, valuables are not sold, but rather given without an explicit agreement for immediate or future rewards. Social norms and customs govern giving a gift i ...
* Micro-donation *
Philanthropy Philanthropy consists of "private initiatives, for the public good, focusing on quality of life Quality of life (QOL) is defined by the World Health Organization The World Health Organization (WHO) is a list of specialized agencies of th ...

Philanthropy


References

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