Charitable Giving Statistics

NPT curates statistics from recent studies and reports on charitable giving in the U.S. Please refer to the footnotes for original sources.

General Philanthropy

  • Americans gave $471.44 billion in 2020. This reflects a 5.1% increase from 2019.1
  • Corporate giving in 2020 decreased to $16.88 billion—a 6.1% decrease from 2019.1
  • Foundation giving in 2020 increased to $88.55 billion—a 19% increase from 2019.1
  • In 2020, the largest source of charitable giving came from individuals at $324.10 billion, or 69% of total giving. In five of the last six years, charitable giving by individuals has grown.
  • Other sources of charitable giving were giving by foundations ($88.55 billion/19% of the total share of American giving), bequests ($41.91 billion/9%), and corporations ($16.88 billion/4%).1
  • In 2020, the majority of charitable dollars went to religion (28%), education (15%), human services (14%), grantmaking foundations (12%) and public-society benefit (10%).1
  • Giving in 2020 increased in nearly every sector, with double-digit growth in gifts for public-society benefit (15.7%), environment/animals (11.6%) and individuals (12.8%).1
  • Charitable giving accounted for 2.3% of gross domestic product in 2020.1
  • Corporations are more likely to give when the stock market is up because stock market values are an indicator of financial and economic security.1

Individual and Family Philanthropy

  • 86 percent of affluent households maintained or increased their giving despite uncertainty about further spread of COVID-193
  • Adults are more likely to give to charity if their parents gave to charity.4

Charitable Organizations

  • According to the most recent data available, there are more than 1.54 million charitable organizations in the United States.5
  • Sources of revenue for tax-exempt organizations in 2012 were program service revenues, including government contracts and fees (73%), contributions, gifts, & government grants (21%) and lastly, dues, special event income, rental income and net sales from goods (6%).5

Volunteering

  • An estimated 25.1 percent of US adults volunteered in 2017, contributing an estimated 8.8 billion hours, valued at approximately $195.0 billion.5
  • Approximately 77 million Americans—30% of the adult population—volunteer their time, talents, and energy to making a difference.6
  • The top four national volunteer activities are fundraising or selling items to raise money (36.0%); food collection or distribution (34.2%); collecting, making or distributing clothing, crafts or other goods (26.5%); and mentoring youth (26.2%).6
  • The top four types of organizations by volunteering are: religious (32.0%); sport, hobby, cultural or arts (25.7%); educational or youth service (19.2%); and civic, political, professional or international (6.2%).6

Donor-Advised Funds

  • There were 873,228 donor-advised fund accounts in 2019.8
  • Donor-advised funds held $141.95 billion in assets in 2019.8
  • Annual contributions into donor-advised funds were $38.81 billion in 2019.8
  • Donors recommended grants from donor-advised funds totaled more than $25 billion to charities in 2019.8
  • Average donor-advised fund account size was $162,556 in 2019.8

Sources

1 Giving USA 2021 Annual Report

2 Candid 2020 Annual Report

3 Affluent Americans Expand Generosity During the Pandemic

4 Indiana University Lilly School of Philanthropy Women’s Philanthropy Institute | Women Give 18: Transmitting Generosity to Daughters and Sons

5 The Urban Institute | National Center for Charitable Statistics 2019

6 The Corporation for National and Community Service

7 Independent Sector

8 National Philanthropic Trust – Donor Advised Fund Report 2020