NEW YORK (AP) - Fueled by a surging stock market and huge gifts from billionaires, charitable giving in the United States in 2017 topped the $400 billion mark for the first time, according to the latest comprehensive report on Americans' giving patterns.
The Giving USA report says giving from individuals, estates, foundations and corporations reached an estimated $410 billion in 2017 - more than the gross domestic product of countries such as Israel and Ireland. That's up 5.2 percent from an estimated $389.64 billion for 2016.
The biggest increase was in giving to foundations - up 15.5 percent. That surge was driven by large gifts from major philanthropists to their own foundations.
Other sectors with increases of more than 6 percent included education, arts and culture, environment and animal welfare, and public-society benefit organizations.