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 $427.71 billion in 2018. This reflects a 0.7% increase from 2017.1
  • Corporate giving in 2018 increased to $20.05 billion—a 5.4% increase from 2017.1
  • Foundation giving in 2018 increased to $75.86 billion—a 7.3% increase from 2017.1
  • In 2018, the largest source of charitable giving came from individuals at $292.09 billion, or 68% of total giving; followed by foundations ($75.86 billion/18%), bequests ($39.71 billion/9%), and corporations ($20.05 billion/5%).1
  • In 2018, the majority of charitable dollars went to religion (29%), education (14%), human services (12%), grantmaking foundations (12%), and health (9%).1
  • International affairs organizations experienced the largest giving increase in 2018, receiving 9.6% more than the previous year.1
  • Charitable giving accounted for 2.1% of gross domestic product in 2018.1
  • Historically, charitable giving rises about one-third as fast as the stock market.2

Individual and Family Philanthropy

  • Approximately 90% of high net worth households give to charity.3
  • On average, high net worth donors gave $29,269 to charity in 2017. By comparison, general population households gave $2,514 on average.3
  • 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 1.5 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

  • Approximately 77 million Americans—30% of the adult population—volunteer their time, talents, and energy to making a difference.6
  • The 2017 national value of volunteer time is $24.69 per hour.7 In other words, Americans contribute $167 billion of their time to our communities.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 463,622 donor-advised fund accounts in 2017.8
  • Donor-advised funds held $110.01 billion in assets in 2017.8
  • Annual contributions into donor-advised funds were $29.23 billion in 2017.8
  • Donors recommended grants from donor-advised funds totaling $19.08 billion to charities in 2017.8
  • Average donor-advised fund account size was $237,280 in 2017.8
  • For every $1 million in contributions to donor-advised funds, roughly $870,000 is granted out in the same year.1

Sources

1 Giving USA 2019
2 The Foundation Center
3 The 2018 U.S. Trust Study of High Net Worth Philanthropy conducted in partnership with the Indiana University Lilly School of Philanthropy
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 2015
6 The Corporation for National and Community Service
7 Independent Sector
8 National Philanthropic Trust – Donor Advised Fund Report 2018