Giving USA 2021 Report: Charitable Giving Trends

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For over 60 years, Giving USA: The Annual Report on Philanthropy in America, has provided comprehensive charitable giving data that are relied on by donors, fundraisers, and nonprofit leaders. The research in the annual report estimates all giving to charitable organizations across the United States. Giving USA is a public outreach initiative of Giving USA Foundation and is researched and written by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. Giving USA Foundation, established in 1985 by The Giving Institute, endeavors to advance philanthropy through research and education.

Giving USA 2021: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2020, was released on June 15th. We rounded up the key findings for you here!

2020 Giving Stats

Total of charitable contributions in 2020: $471.44 billion: +5% over 2019.
  • Giving by individuals made up 69% of total giving in 2020
  • Giving by foundations (including grants made by independent, community, and operation foundations) made up 19% of total giving in 2020
  • Giving by bequest made up 9% of all gifts in 2020
  • Giving by corporations made up 4% of total giving in 2020
Changes in giving by source (in current dollars)
  • Total cumulative giving from 2018-2020 is up 10%
    • 2018-2019: Increase of 4.7%
    • 2019-2020: Increase of 5.1%
  • Cumulative change in giving by individuals from 2018-2020 is up 9.1%
    • 2018-2019: Increased 6.7%
    • 2019-2020: Increased 2.2%
  • Cumulative change in giving by grantmaking foundations from 2018-2020 is up 19.9%
    • 2018-2019: Increased 2.5%
    • 2019-2020: Increased 17%
  • Cumulative change in giving by bequest from 2018-2020 is up 4.9%
    • 2018-2019: Decreased 5%
    • 2019-2020: Increased 10.3%
  • Cumulative change in giving by corporations from 2018-2020 is down 3.2%
    • 2018-2019: Increased 3.1%
    • 2019-2020: Decreased 13.4%

It’s worth noting that in inflation-adjusted dollars, total cumulative giving increased 6.7% over the period of 2018-2020 (up 2.8% in 2018-2019 and up 3.8% from 2019-2020). Giving by individuals was up by about 4.7% in inflation-adjusted dollars (up 4.7% in 2018-2019 and up 1% from 2019-2020). 

Breakdown of $471.44 billion in total giving by type of recipient organizations
  • 28% Religion ($131.08 billion)
  • 15% Education ($71.34 billion)
  • 14% Human Services ($65.14 billion)
  • 12% Grantmaking foundations ($58.17 billion)
  • 9% Health ($42.12 billion)
  • 10% Public-society benefit ($48 billion)
  • 6% International affairs ($28.89 billion)
  • 5% Arts, culture, and humanities ($21.64 billion)
  • 3% Environment/animals ($14.16 billion)
  • 2% To individuals (10.11 billion)
Changes in giving by type of recipient organization from 2017-2018, from 2018-2019, and cumulative 2017-2019
  • Religion
    • 2018-2019: +3.6%
    • 2019-2020: +1.0%
    • 2018-2020: +4.6%
  • Education
    • 2018-2019: +11.1%
    • 2019-2020: +9.0%
    • 2018-2020: +21.2%
  • Human Services:
    • 2018-2019: +3.8%
    • 2019-2020: +9.7%
    • 2018-2020: +13.8%
  • Foundations:
    • 2018-2019: +15.3%
    • 2019-2020: +2.0%
    • 2018-2020: +17.6%
  • Health:
    • 2018-2019: +6.3%
    • 2019-2020: -3.0%
    • 2018-2020: +3.1%
  • Public-Society Benefit
    • 2018-2019: +8.0%
    • 2019-2020: +15.7%
    • 2018-2020: +24.9%
  • Arts, Culture, and Humanities:
    • 2018-2019: +11.3%
    • 2019-2020: -7.5%
    • 2018-2020: +3.0%
  • International Affairs:
    • 2018-2019: -1.0%
    • 2019-2020: +9.1%
    • 2018-2020: +8.0%
  • Environment/Animals:
    • 2018-2019: +9.6%
    • 2019-2020: +11.6%
    • 2018-2020: +22.3%

The full Giving USA 2021 report can be purchased here! Enjoy the data goodness!

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