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.

Individual and Family Philanthropy

  • Americans gave $410.02 billion in 2017. This reflects a 5.2% increase from 2016.1
  • Corporate giving in 2017 increased to $20.77 billion—an 8.0% increase from 2016.1
  • Foundation giving in 2017 increased to $66.90 billion—a 6.0% increase from 2016.1
  • In 2017, the largest source of charitable giving came from individuals at $286.65 billion, or 70% of total giving; followed by foundations ($66.90 billion/16%), bequests ($35.70 billion/9%), and corporations ($20.77 billion/5%).1
  • In 2017, the majority of charitable dollars went to religion (31%), education (14%), human services (12%), grantmaking foundations (11%), and health (9%).1
  • Arts organizations experienced the largest giving increase in 2017, receiving 8.7% more than the previous year.1
  • Charitable giving accounted for 2.1% of gross domestic product in 2016.1
  • Historically, charitable giving rises about one-third as fast as the stock market.2
  • Approximately 91% of high net worth households give to charity.3
  • On average, high net worth donors gave $25,509 to charity in 2015. By comparison, general population households gave $2,520 on average.3

Charitable Organizations

  • In May 2015, there were approximately 1,521,052 charitable organizations in the United States.4
  • There are an estimated 316,532 congregations in the United States in May 2015.4
  • 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%). 4

Volunteering

  • Approximately 63 million Americans—25% of the adult population—volunteer their time, talents, and energy to making a difference.5
  • The 2016 national value of volunteer time is $24.14 per hour. In other words, Americans contribute $193 billion of their time to our communities.5
  • The top four national volunteer activities are food collection or distribution (24.2%), fundraising or selling items to raise money (23.9%), general labor or transportation (18.8%), and tutoring or teaching (17.9%).6
  • The top four volunteer areas are for religious (34.1%), educational (26%), social service (14.9%), and health (7.3%) organizations.6

Donor-Advised Funds

  • There were 284,965 donor-advised fund accounts in 2016.7
  • Donor-advised funds held $85.15 billion in assets in 2016.7
  • Annual contributions into donor-advised funds were $23.27 billion in 2016.7
  • Donors recommended grants from donor-advised funds totaling $15.75 billion to charities in 2016.7
  • Average donor-advised fund account size was $298,809 in 2016.7

Sources

1 Giving USA 2018
2 The Foundation Center
3 The 2016 U.S. Trust Study of High Net Worth Philanthropy conducted in partnership with the Indiana University Lilly School of Philanthropy
4 The Urban Institute
5 Independent Sector
6 The Corporation for National and Community Service
7 National Philanthropic Trust – Donor Advised Fund Report 2017