Giving USA 2022: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2021 is the most comprehensive report on philanthropy in America. With tons of data available about the state of fundraising worldwide, it can be kind of confusing to decipher each year’s findings. Luckily, we’ve got you covered with our breakdown of the most important findings of the Giving USA 2022 Annual Report.
- What the Giving USA 2022 Annual Report says about giving in 2021
- What this means for giving beyond 2022
1. What the Giving USA 2022 Annual Report says about giving in 2021
Who gave according to the Giving USA 2022 Annual Report
The first thing that was noted about giving in 2021 was that it remained relatively flat in inflation-adjusted dollars. Despite the fact that giving increased four percent in current dollars and over $484.85 billion was raised in the U.S., when adjusted for inflation, the spending power of those funds was only around – 0.7 percent.
When it comes to giving, before adjusting for inflation, it was on the rise. That said, several categories of giving actually saw a decline when adjusted for inflation, making 2021 a mixed bag overall.
Individuals gave $326.87 billion, which was a 4.9% increase between 2020 and 2021. When adjusted for inflation, giving grew slightly at 0.2%.
Giving by foundations grew 3.4% and raised around $90.88 billion for nonprofits in 2021. However, in terms of inflation related dollars, foundational giving actually declined in spending power by -1.2%.
2021 was a bad year for gifts given as bequests. Overall, there was a 7.3 percent decline in bequests from 2020 to 2021. When adjusted for inflation, the outcome is even bleaker with a decline of 11.4 percent noted.
One exciting area of growth was giving by corporations. Giving by corporations increased 23.8% before inflation, totaling $21.08 billion dollars given. This was a growth of 18.3 percent after inflation. With corporate giving rising this much, it’s important to have a plan to pursue corporate gifts in the form of grants, sponsorships, or partnerships.
Where did those funds go?
Now that we’ve discussed who gave and how much, it’s important to understand which nonprofit subsectors received those funds.
Giving to religious institutions saw a 5.4% increase between 2020 and 2021. The subsector raised approximately $135.78 billion in contributions. When adjusted for inflation, the religion subsector’s growth remained flat at around 0.7 percent growth.
Conversely, giving to education saw a 2.8 percent decline in giving between 2020 and 2021, to $70.79 billion. After adjusting for inflation, the hit was even larger declining by –7.2 percent.
Giving to human services increased by an estimated 2.2 percent in 2021, totaling $65.33 billion. However, after adjusting for inflation, they actually saw a decline of 2.4 percent.
Foundational giving was estimated to have increased by 9.3 percent in 2021 to $64.26 billion. After adjusting for inflation, their growth was around 4.4 percent.
Giving to health is estimated to have increased by 7.7 percent between 2020 and 2021 to $40.58 billion. After adjusting for inflation, that growth is actually around 2.9 percent.
Giving to public-society benefit organizations increased a staggering 23.5 percent between 2020 and 2021, to $55.85 billion. Adjusted for inflation, their growth was around 17.9 percent.
Donations to arts, culture, and humanities organizations were estimated to have increased 27.5 percent between 2020 and 2021, to $23.50 billion. Adjusted for inflation, this subsector increased 21.8 percent.
Giving to international affairs was level with 2020 with 0.0 percent growth. It’s estimated this subsector raised around $27.44 billion in 2021. Adjusted for inflation, this subsector declined -4.5 percent.
The environmental and animal organizations are estimated to have received an increase in donations of 11.0 percent between 2020 and 2021. The amount raised was estimated to be around $16.32 billion. Adjusted for inflation, donations to the environment and animals subsector increased 6.1 percent.
Lastly, giving to individuals is estimated to have grown 1.8 percent between 2020 and 2021 to $11.74 billion. Adjusted for inflation, donations declined by –2.7 percent.
2. What this means for giving beyond 2022
The data can make understanding what to do a bit confusing, but don’t worry. We’ve analyzed the data from the Giving USA 2022 Report and are here to help make it a bit more digestible. Here’s how you can use this data to better inform your future fundraising strategy!
1. Make a plan for corporate giving
Your nonprofit should prepare to pursue corporate giving. With the dramatic increase in corporate gifts in 2021, there’s a good chance corporate gifts are on the rise for the foreseeable future. Therefore, you need a plan for corporate giving. When creating your strategic fundraising plan, make it a priority to engage local corporations. You can pursue corporate sponsorships for your events, but there are other ways you can get corporate involvement without hosting a fundraising event. Check out this blog post for alternatives to sponsorships.
2. Back off of bequests
Bequests took a big hit in 2021 and there’s no guarantee that they’ll be coming back into prominence any time soon. With the COVID-19 pandemic and uncertain economic times, 2021 saw people forego their bequests. That means fewer planned gifts were taking place overall. There’s a good chance that planned giving won’t be back to before pre-pandemic levels any time soon, so instead of devoting a ton of time and energy to planned gift recruiting, it’s important to pursue gifts from individuals to fund what’s happening now. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have a plan for your organization’s future, though. It may just mean that planned giving will play a smaller role in the longevity of your nonprofit right now.
3. Focus on individual giving
Even though individual giving didn’t see a huge boom in growth like corporate giving, it’s important to remember that people donate because they care about your cause. Therefore, you can’t put all your eggs in the corporate donation basket. You’ll still need to diversify in order to make the most of your annual fundraising. That’s why, in addition to corporate giving, you still need to focus on individual giving. Donor stewardship will play a big role in retaining your individual donors while a multi-channel marketing strategy will hopefully help attract new donors to your cause.
There you have it! This is the key data you’ll need from the Giving USA 2022: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2021 to make data-backed decisions on the future of fundraising at your nonprofit organization.
Want more statistics you can use to make data-backed decisions at your nonprofit organization? Check out our blog post for more.