When will giving return to pre-recession levels? No time soon.

According to the 2013 Giving USA report, donations to charities are continuing to rise – but only at a snail’s pace. If trends hold steady, it will take at least six more years for giving to recover to pre-recession rates. As Mark Medin, head of the UJA-Federation of New York, put it, “While the stock market has recovered…the psychology of giving has not.” More highlights from the Giving USA report include (Chronicle, 6/18):

– Foundations increased their grants by 2.3 percent.
– Bequests fell by nearly 9 percent in 2012, after rising more than 6 percent in 2011.
– Contributions to colleges, universities, and private schools rose by nearly 5 percent, while health organizations raised almost 3 percent more.
– Donations to social-service groups grew by 1.8 percent in 2012, with many groups reporting a slowing of contributions after giving rose sharply in the worst of the downturn
– Religious causes suffered a more than 2-percent drop in donations

The Stubborn 2% Giving Rate: Even as more fundraisers seek donations, Americans don’t dig deeper (Chronicle, 6/18)

Giving Gain, Estimated At $316.23 Billion For 2012 (NPT, 6/18) This article breaks down giving by issue.

Coming up at WRAG: Later this year, WRAG will release a giving profile of the Greater Washington region based on our members’ giving. More information to follow.

WORKFORCE | Last week, WRAG members met with Dr. Brenda Dann-Messier, U.S. Assistant Secretary for Adult and Vocational Education, and leaders from our region’s community colleges to discuss regional workforce training. Here are the big takeaways. (Daily, 6/18)

COMMUNITY | The Susan G. Komen Foundation has announced that health policy expert Judith Salerno will serve as its new CEO. (WBJ, 6/18)

YOUTH | In the past few days, three separate incidents involving violent groups of local youths have made the news. The first was an attack on a bike trail, the second was an attack (though a mild one) near Eastern Market, and the third was a big fight on Metro. (WAMU, GGW, WaPo)

A spike in incidents like these is common during the summer months when school is out. Funders work hard to engage youth through summer programs, but can we do more to prevent this stuff from happening? There is something fundamentally wrong if a young person reverts to violence when s/he is not otherwise occupied.

HEALTH | Health care costs are growing at an historically slow rate. Is this temporary or permanent? And what are the implications for policy? The Post looks into it. (WaPo, 6/18)

LOCAL | Gentrification is moving east in the District. (WBJ, 6/18)

GIVING | Local Millennials change the face of philanthropy (Elevation, 6/18)

The best Outkast song that you’ve probably never heard is Land of a Million Drums. It was written for the forgettable live action Scooby Doo movie in 2002, but it is one of the rappers’ best tracks.

When you are done playing the air drums and dancing around like a maniac (I’m not the only one, right…?), here’s a little history. I realized that I didn’t actually know where the iconic Uncle Sam came from. The answer is Troy, New York.