Detroit art
The Detroit Institute of Arts avoided a fiscal cliff when voters in three counties approved an tax increase that directly funds the 125-year-old museum. - 

In 2012, giving to organizations geared towards supporting the arts, culture and humanities jumped 7 percent, totaling over $14 billion.  

According to the Chronicle of Philanthropy’s most recent list of the "Most Generous" people in America, two of the country's top donors gave more than $7 billion to arts, culture and humanities-related efforts.  

Vance Kondon and Elisabeth Giesberger primarily gave to museums and libraries, as did David Koch.  Other top donations to the arts, culture and humanities include:

2013: A bequest of $150 milion from Fred Fields to the Oregon Community Foundation.

2012: The Stamps Family Charitable Foundation donated over $30 million to the University of Michigan School of Art and Design.   The school was named in honor of the Stamps family.

2012: The Zell Family Foundation gave $10 million to the Musuem of Contemporary Art in Chicago.

Giving in this category is often location specific. Foundations will give money to a certain cause in a certain area of the country.  For example, The John S. and James L. Knight foundation gave grants to art schools in two places, South Florida and Detroit.

How do you give?

As part of our special series on philanthropy and charitable giving in the United States we’re taking a look at a few things: Where did our strong history of philanthropy come from? What are the economic ramifications of how Americans give? 

As part of the reporting we’re looking back at the history of some of the biggest philanthropists in U.S. history. John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, Bill and Melinda Gates, Warren Buffett.

In gauging how important those folks are we would also like to know how the average person gives.

 What inspires you to give money to your local charity? Do you see philanthropy as time spent on a cause or money spent supporting it? We want to know!

 We'll use your answers to support future reporting on how people give.

Click here to get started!


Follow John Ketchum at @ketchcast