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Giving usa 2021: in a year of unprecedented events and challenges, charitable giving reached a record $471.44 billion in 2020.
Via the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy
Giving USA 2021: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2020 , released today, reports that individuals, bequests, foundations and corporations gave an estimated $471.44 billion to U.S. charities in 2020.
Total charitable giving grew 5.1% measured in current dollars over the revised total of $448.66 billion contributed in 2019. Adjusted for inflation, total giving increased 3.8%. (Please see below for a more detailed breakdown of the numbers for each philanthropic source and sector.)
Giving USA, the longest-running and most comprehensive report on the sources and uses of charitable giving in America, is published by Giving USA Foundation , a public service initiative of The Giving Institute. It is researched and written by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI.
“Unprecedented developments in 2020 including the global pandemic, the ensuing economic crisis, and efforts to advance racial justice created intense, widespread need and significantly increased the demand upon nonprofit organizations. Remarkably, generous giving coupled with the stock market turnaround in the final months of the year boosted contributions. As a result, 2020 is the highest year of charitable giving on record,” said Laura MacDonald, CFRE, chair of Giving USA Foundation and Principal and Founder of Benefactor Group. “Amid these unique circumstances, however, the nation’s overall economic picture remained mixed. It is important to recognize that the picture for individual households and organizations may have looked quite different, with many facing hardship even though total giving posted strong growth.”
“In some ways, 2020 is a story of uneven impact and uneven recovery. Many wealthier households were more insulated from the effects of COVID-19 and the ensuing economic shock, and they may have had greater capacity to give charitably than households and communities that were disproportionately affected and struggled financially,” said Amir Pasic, Ph.D., the Eugene R. Tempel Dean of the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. “Similarly, growth in the S&P 500 in recent years and the market recovery in 2020 positioned foundations to respond to the year’s challenges, with the result that giving by foundations reached its largest-ever share of total giving, at 19 percent. Still, for many people and communities, the need remained great throughout the year and beyond.”
Last year was challenging according to many economic measures, including GDP, which declined by 2.3% from 2019. However, the passage of the CARES Act and the possibility of an approved COVID-19 vaccine helped markets rebound in the second half of the year, when most charitable giving occurs. By the end of 2020, the S&P 500, which is closely related to giving, grew 16.3%, and personal income, a factor that is significantly linked to individual giving, grew 6.1%. Giving by foundations skyrocketed, and giving by individuals and bequests also showed growth. Giving by corporations, which is more closely tied to GDP, declined.
Charitable giving grew from three of the four sources of giving and to seven of the nine major types of recipient charitable organizations in 2020. The experiences of individual charitable organizations may have varied.
“As we have seen in earlier years that included national crises or economic recessions, donors responded to urgent needs, and large-scale gifts as well as giving to COVID-19 relief and the racial justice movement helped drive the growth in individual and total charitable giving in 2020,” said Una Osili, Ph.D. , associate dean for research and international programs at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. “Nonprofit leaders and fundraising professionals played a role with significant innovation in fundraising methods and donor outreach in order to raise greater financial support under difficult circumstances. In addition, we saw a wide range of more informal philanthropic responses by individuals in 2020, including mutual aid efforts and person-to-person giving.”
Highlights and Numbers for 2020 Charitable Giving by Source:
“Giving in 2020 amid complex and challenging developments serves as a reminder of the unique way Americans respond to local and national opportunities and needs – in the moment,” said Ted Grossnickle, chair of The Giving Institute, and senior consultant and founder of Johnson, Grossnickle + Associates. “It’s interesting to note that giving to five of nine categories grew by 9% or more.”
“Human services organizations, which include charities that respond to hunger and basic needs, and public-society benefit organizations, which include United Ways and many organizations that focus on community development and civil rights, experienced strong growth,” said Josh Birkholz, vice-chair of Giving USA Foundation and CEO of BWF. “Those are the types of charities that might come to mind first when thinking about giving to meet the needs that arose in 2020. However, nearly every category of charitable organization received gifts for COVID-19 relief and racial justice, which indicates the broad scale of the challenges faced in 2020—as well as the complexity and responsiveness of the nonprofit sector overall.”
Highlights and Numbers for 2020 Charitable Giving to Recipients:
“Though giving in 2020 followed some known patterns for recessionary years, such as increases in basic needs giving and decreases to the arts, there were additional factors at play in 2020. For instance, giving to religion is typically least impacted by economic shifts, but it’s possible that other factors, such as the pandemic shutdown that prevented in-person services from occurring, may have had an impact on some organizations,” said Patrick M. Rooney, Ph.D. , executive associate dean for academic programs at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. “There also may have been a digital divide in 2020 between nonprofit organizations that were able to pivot their fundraising and services to online and those that were more severely limited by the effects of the pandemic.”
Giving to individuals is estimated to have grown 12.8% (11.5% in inflation-adjusted dollars) between 2019 and 2020, to $16.22 billion. The bulk of these donations are in-kind gifts of medications to patients in need, made through the patient assistance programs of pharmaceutical companies’ operating foundations.
Unallocated giving was negative $22.13 billion in 2020. This amount can be considered as the difference between giving by source and use in a particular year. This amount includes the difference between itemized deductions by individuals (and households) carried over from previous years. The tax year in which a gift is claimed by the donor (carried over) and the year when the recipient organization reports it as revenue (the year in which it is received) may be different.
About Giving USA Foundation™
Advancing the research, education and public understanding of philanthropy is the mission of Giving USA Foundation, founded in 1985 by The Giving Institute. Headquartered in Chicago, the Foundation publishes data and trends about charitable giving through its seminal publication, Giving USA, and shorter Special Reports, released periodically, providing in-depth explorations on today’s charitable giving topics. Published since 1956, Giving USA is the longest running, most comprehensive report on philanthropy in America.
About Giving USA
For more than 65 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 this 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 at IUPUI. Giving USA Foundation, established in 1985 by The Giving Institute, endeavors to advance philanthropy through research and education. Explore Giving USA products and resources, at www.givingusa.org .
About The Giving Institute
The Giving Institute, the parent organization of Giving USA Foundation, consists of member organizations that have embraced and embodied the core values of ethics, excellence and leadership in advancing philanthropy. Serving clients of every size and purpose, from local institutions to international organizations, The Giving Institute member organizations embrace the highest ethical standards and maintain a strict code of fair practices. For information on selecting fundraising counsel, visit www.givinginstitute.org .
How to Obtain Giving USA 2021
Giving USA 2021: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2020 is available for download at www.givingusa.org . Through Giving USA 2021, purchasers receive an annual subscription including: • The 2021 Comprehensive Presentation PowerPoint with researchers' notes • Access to the archive of all Giving USA’s previous reports • Access to all of Giving USA's previous Special Reports • Free digital copies of upcoming Giving USA Special Reports (including an upcoming new study on Donor-Advised Funds) • Complimentary copy of the subscription year Annual Update on State Laws • Exclusive The Giving Institute and Giving USA webinars for subscribers
About the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy
The Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI is dedicated to improving philanthropy to improve the world by training and empowering students and professionals to be innovators and leaders who create positive and lasting change. The school offers a comprehensive approach to philanthropy through its undergraduate , graduate , certificate and professional development programs, its research and international programs and through The Fund Raising School, Lake Institute on Faith & Giving, the Mays Family Institute on Diverse Philanthropy and the Women’s Philanthropy Institute.
Giving USA Methodology
Giving USA estimates primarily rely on econometric methods developed by leading researchers in philanthropy and the nonprofit sector and are reviewed and approved by members of the Giving USA External Review Panel. Members of the External Review Panel include research directors from national nonprofit organizations, as well as scholars from such disciplines as economics and public affairs, all of whom are involved in studying philanthropy and the nonprofit sector.
The Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy prepares all of the estimates in Giving USA for Giving USA Foundation. Giving USA develops estimates for giving by each type of donor (sources) and for recipient organizations categorized by subsectors (uses). Most of Giving USA’s annual estimates are based on econometric analyses and tabulations of tax data, economic indicators and demographics. Data for giving by foundations come from Candid (formerly the Foundation Center).
Following the same approach used by leading public and private institutions that develop economic statistics, Giving USA researchers update data found within Giving USA each year. This is because current Giving USA estimates are developed before final tax data, some economic indicators and some demographic data are available. The estimates are revised and updated as final versions of these data become available. Final estimates are usually developed two or three years after their initial release.
For more specific details on Giving USA’s methodology, please refer to the “Brief summary of methods” section within Giving USA 2021 or contact the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at [email protected] or 317-278-8972.
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Funding trends 2023: Climate change mitigation philanthropy
Our fourth annual report on funding trends in climate change mitigation philanthropy covers eight years of funding data from 2015 to 2022.
In 2022, the amount of philanthropic funding for climate change mitigation remained essentially unchanged from the previous year — a slowdown from the consistent growth we saw in 2019 , 2020 , and 2021 . Climate giving showed some resilience in 2022 despite challenging global economic conditions, but ultimately fell short of the scale needed to address the crisis. In this decisive moment for the planet, philanthropy must rapidly raise its ambition for advancing transformative climate solutions — in partnership with a wider range of communities, movements, and organizations — and move more funds faster to the places that need them most.
Five spotlights from this year’s report:
Maritime shipping, built environment, corporate accountability, minerals for the energy transition, helen mountford, marcelo mena, saliem fakir, helene desanlis, research & related links.
ClimateWorks’ 2022 Annual Report: Materializing Real-World Change in 2022
Introductory Africa country profiles for climate philanthropy
Foundation funding for climate change mitigation: China spotlight
About climateworks global intelligence.
In partnership with a global network of grantees, funders, and researchers, ClimateWorks Global Intelligence provides insights to help funders build and execute transformative climate strategies.
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Community members celebrate philanthropic contributions at annual lunch
TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Ahead of National Philanthropy Day, area philanthropists celebrated and recognized community members for their active involvement.
The Association of Fundraising Professionals ’ Topeka Chapter hosted its 25th annual National Philanthropy Lunch at the Topeka Country Club on Thursday afternoon, Nov. 2, to honor several community members for their active participation and philanthropic contributions to the region.
The award recipients are:
- Reser’s Fine Foods , Outstanding Corporate Donor
- Douglas County Community Foundation , Outstanding Foundation
- Judy Corzine, Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser
- Roger and Joanie Underwood, the 2023 Philanthropic Leadership Award recipients
Roger and Joanie Underwood told 13 NEWS they were deeply honored for such an award and seeing all the joy and appreciation from others.
”We believe in our community, and the best way to do that is not only with our time and our talent, you know, being involved with the delegate organizations, but also to be able to give some of our treasurers - our blessings that we’ve got,” said Roger Underwood.
“It blows me away,” said Joanie Underwood. “It just blows me away. After working in a career for over 30 years and never doing the right thing, to have this recognition, but also the reality of the joy that is other people. It’s very humbling.”
Washburn University President Dr. JuliAnn Mazachek was the keynote speaker for this event, sharing with the audience her philanthropic endeavors and the importance of giving back.
According to AFP, National Philanthropy Day started in the 1980s and was organized by Douglas Freeman. The first official events were in 1986 — after President Reagan signed an official proclamation. AFP describes National Philanthropy Day as a time to reflect on the meaning of giving and how it is made possible while celebrating others for their commendable efforts.
National Philanthropy Day is also set for Wednesday, Nov. 15.
Copyright 2023 WIBW. All rights reserved.
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The 2022 Annual Report
For 25 years, National Philanthropic Trust has helped donors support the charities and causes most important to them. During our 2022 fiscal year, our donors recommended grants to more charitable organizations than ever before, helping over 34,000 nonprofits respond to global challenges with creativity, energy and resolve.
Last year, international turmoil and political uncertainty significantly impacted the economy and our daily lives. Our grants supported organizations that work in disaster recovery, food insecurity, humanitarian relief and more.
NPT’s donors continued to recommend grants to organizations offering vital human services and working to strengthen democracy—all while remaining loyal to schools, faith-based groups and the arts, demonstrating they can support urgent and emerging needs while remaining focused on annual grantmaking goals.
NPT's grantmaking surpassed $5.5B in FY22, driven by more than 100,000 grants supporting over 34,000 different organizations.
I’m particularly proud that, once again, more than half of our donors’ recommended grants were unrestricted, providing recipient organizations with general operating support to allocate where they saw the greatest need.
We can only meet our mission of increasing philanthropy in society through collaboration with others. I am grateful to NPT’s Board of Trustees, our partners, my talented colleagues and most importantly, our generous donors.
Eileen R. Heisman President & CEO
Since 1996, National Philanthropic Trust has helped individuals, families, foundations and corporations reach their philanthropic goals and maximize their charitable giving. Today we are the nation’s largest independent public charity that manages donor-advised funds (DAFs). In 2022, NPT’s donors continued to respond with generosity to pandemic recovery, supported the humanitarian response to international crises and honored their longtime charitable commitments.
In the 2022 fiscal year, NPT celebrated our 25th anniversary. NPT is more experienced than we were 25 years ago, but our mission remains the same: increasing philanthropy in society. Since NPT’s inception, our donors have recommended more than 540,000 grants totaling more than $21 billion to charitable organizations across 89 countries.
Our 2022 fiscal year, reflected in this report, began July 1, 2021 and ended June 30, 2022. This report provides complete and current information about NPT donors’ response to the pandemic and an evolving charitable landscape.
More Than $5 Billion in Grants
NPT granted $5.57 billion on behalf of our donors during FY22.
Support for More Than 34,000 Charitable Organizations
Grants supported 34,744 unique charities, an increase of 15% compared to FY21.
Number of Grants Surpasses 100,000 for the First Time
NPT made nearly 104,000 grants, an increase of 18% compared to FY21.
NPT donors recommended grants to organizations in every U.S. state and in 55 countries around the world.
2022 grantmaking impact stories.
In FY22, our donors recommended grants to a wide variety of charitable organizations, from international NGOs to community-based nonprofits, as they responded to global concerns and addressed needs in their communities. The organizations represented here are a sample of our donor-recommended grants.
Serving Afghan and Ukrainian Refugees
HIAS: The historic refugee-serving organization continues to help displaced populations fleeing violence, oppression and discrimination worldwide. One donor recommended a grant of $400,000 to be split between HIAS’ program to assist refugees from Afghanistan and another assisting those from Ukraine. The U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan resulted in a massive evacuation response, with tens of thousands of Afghans airlifted from the country. By the end of 2022, HIAS had helped resettle thousands of Afghans across the U.S.
In early 2022, the Russian invasion of Ukraine created an unprecedented refugee crisis in Europe. Since that time, HIAS has deployed $35 million to assist Ukrainian refugees, with a sizable portion devoted to the specific needs of women and girls.
Fighting Hunger Year-Round
Maryland Food Bank : Charitable support, like a $10,000 grant recommendation from an NPT donor, was crucial during the pandemic for organizations addressing food insecurity, and it remains so. In 2022, Maryland Food Bank distributed more than 40 million meals across the state through programs that address hunger year-round, as well as public policy efforts confronting hunger’s root causes.
Recognizing the increased pressure on many families during the summer months when they can no longer rely on schools to provide meals for their children, the organization created a Summer Club, a program where kids can receive healthy foods all summer through 40 different community-based partner organizations.
Reducing Emissions to Protect the Planet
Nature Conservancy: As one of the world’s leading environmental organizations, the Nature Conservancy is at the center of nature-based solutions to the climate crisis. The organization is convening policy makers, scientists and grassroots activists to meet a 2030 target of reducing three billion metric tons of CO2 annually and preserving 650 hectares of land.
One NPT donor recommended a $400,000 grant to help meet these ambitious goals. Nature Conservancy experts are at work across the globe: supporting forest restoration in China, improving the way seaweed is harvested in Zanzibar, and rewilding Berlin’s parks and green spaces with grazing sheep.
Centering Black Art
The National Black Arts Festival: A grant of $7,500 celebrates and uplifts Black voices by supporting emerging artists, nurturing creative expression in young people and showcasing commissioned work and performances during an annual festival.
Harnessing the Ocean’s Power in Climate Science
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution: A $275,000 grant helps this historic research organization provide scientists and policymakers with detailed data on the planet’s oceans, which may hold the key to preventing climate change’s most damaging effects.
Focusing on Effective Malaria Prevention
Against Malaria Foundation: A $70,000 grant helps purchase and distribute 35,000 LLINs (Long-Lasting Insecticidal Nets) at a cost of $2.00 each, an effective intervention for preventing malaria infection. Against Malaria has distributed more than 225 million nets across the world with the support of donors.
Welcoming Afghan Women
Women for Afghan Women: A grant of $50,000 helps provide essential services to Afghans arriving in the U.S., helping them to gain economic, social and political autonomy and seeking to reduce gender-based violence and discrimination.
Where Nature and Nation Meet
National Park Foundation: A $10,000 grant helps ensure America’s national parks are sustainably managed and climate-resilient, while improving the visitor experience and recruiting a diverse workforce.
Library Access for All
Free Library of Philadelphia: A $15,000 grant helps provide Philadelphians with access to education, training, workforce and business development and child literacy opportunities. Support for Philadelphia’s public library system also helps bridge the digital divide with internet hot spots, mobile classrooms and technology education for adults and seniors.
Building Wealth and Wellbeing
First Nations Development Institute: When Native people are in control of their own lands, economies and resources, communities flourish. A grant of $200,000 helps provide economic and financial security, small business support and COVID-19 relief.
Art in the Streets
Mural Arts Philadelphia: Philadelphia is one of the world’s best cities for public art, thanks in no small part to Mural Arts. A $10,000 grant helps fund the nation’s largest public arts program through arts education, restorative justice and community wellness programs.
The Power of a Plot
One Acre Fund: A $2 million grant supports smallholder farms with supplies, training and financing across nine countries in sub-Saharan Africa, improving farmer, family and community health and prosperity. In 2021, the One Acre Fund served more than 1.4 million farmers, improving their profits by $150 million.
A Legacy of Service
Pat Tillman Foundation: A $25,000 grant supports the Tillman Scholars program, which every year provides 60 exceptional veterans and military spouses with scholarship support to pursue meaningful careers in government, business, religious leadership, science, law and medicine.
A Healthy Start for Parents and Babies
Nurse-Family Partnership: A $25,000 grant helps this organization provide personal nurses to qualifying moms-to-be who will work together throughout pregnancy and infancy to ensure family health and wellbeing.
Safety and Support
Project HOME: A grant of $45,000 helps offer permanent subsidized housing and comprehensive services and outreach to families and individuals experiencing homelessness.
Making Lifesaving Matches
Asian American Donor Program: A $10,000 grant helps coordinate suitable matches between donors and patients across the Asian American community who are in need of blood stem cell and bone marrow transplants.
Essential Journalism Covering America’s Schools
Chalkbeat: Nonprofit online newsroom Chalkbeat covers education policy and school districts across the country. A $1 million grant helps the site publish crucial news and analysis for teachers, parents and the public.
Hope for Families Worldwide
St. Jude Children's Hospital: A grant of $10,000 to help ensure that the patients and their families at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital never receive a bill. In 2022, St. Jude helped patients affected by the war in Ukraine access essential medical treatment and transported several Ukrainian patients directly to St. Jude’s locations.
Grantmaking Generosity Continues
For the fifth year in a row, NPT donors recommended over $1 billion in grants to charitable organizations. The majority of grants were unrestricted, general operating support. Ninety-seven percent of our donors included identifying information with the grants they recommended. On December 27, 2021, donors recommended the highest number of grants in a single day for the fiscal year, totaling 2,063 grants.
Highest daily grant volume, total value ($) grants fy18 – fy22, global crises like the war in ukraine inspired more than $5.5 billion in grantmaking, a decline from fy21, but above pre-pandemic grantmaking levels., total volume (#) grants fy18 – fy22, for the first time, npt donors recommended more than 100,000 grants in a single year, increasing the number of grants by 18% compared to fy21., grantmaking technology.
NPT continued to improve technology and operations with our new online donor portal, NPT GivingPoint , which saw record traffic in 2022.
GivingPoint is designed to power donors’ philanthropy by allowing them to manage their DAFs wherever they go. With GivingPoint, donors can easily contribute to their DAF account, recommend grants and recommend adjustments to their investment strategy.
Total GivingPoint Users
Total givingpoint sessions, grantmaking fields of interest.
The IRS uses “Major Group” categories to classify U.S. charitable organizations by field of interest. NPT donors’ recommended grants to the top three categories—Public and Societal Benefit, Human Services and Education—represented nearly seventy percent of NPT’s grantmaking by dollar value. The Health, Religion, Environment and Animals and International fields also experienced significant growth in grant value compared to last year.
TOTAL VALUE ($) GRANTS BY FIELD OF INTEREST FY22
Total number of grants by field of interest fy22 (in thousands), donors recommended the largest number of grants to the human services field of interest, followed by religion, education and health., grantmaking trends.
Our donors recommended grants to their longtime charitable interests as well as new causes. Their response to the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine led to a significant increase in global grantmaking. Donors also recommended grants to a greater number of charities than ever before, a jump of 15%.
0 Value of International Grants
0 number of charities supported, how our donors fund their philanthropy.
NPT’s donors contribute cash, appreciated securities and complex assets to their donor-advised funds. They can also take advantage of NPT’s impact investment options to complement their grantmaking strategies.
Donors can use their DAFs to support charitable missions today, to make multi-year recurring commitments over time and to grow assets for transformational grants in the future.
CHARITABLE ASSETS UNDER MANAGEMENT FY18 – FY22
Npt's total assets under management as of june 30 each fiscal year , total value ($) of contributions fy18-fy22, total contributions as of june 30 each fiscal year, consolidated statements .
Board of Trustees (at time of publication)
Suzanne Yoon – CHAIR Joram Borenstein Ann Dugan Julius Green, CPA, JD Eileen R. Heisman Stephen Hopkins Dirk Jungé Linda K. Myers Lisa Pattis Eric Reeves Diana L. Sands Paul Schreiber Manish Shah David Wezdenko Kelly Williams, JD
NPT Leadership Team (at time of publication)
Eileen R. Heisman – President and Chief Executive Officer Christopher Adams – Chief Information Officer Jai Chanda – Chief Development Officer Joseph Gajewski – Executive Vice President, Premier Donor Fiduciary Services Oren Gershon – Senior Vice President, Project Management Office Andrew W. Hastings – Chief Enterprise Officer Ellen M. McGuinn – Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer Elizabeth Monahan – Senior Vice President, Human Resources and Administration Jenna Mulhall-Brereton – Chief Philanthropic Solutions Officer Gil A. Nusbaum – General Counsel Matthew B. Rovi – Senior Vice President, Institutional Partnerships and Experiences Andrea Rush – Senior Vice President, Philanthropic Solutions
NPT is not affiliated with any of the organizations described herein, and the inclusion of any organization in this material should not be considered an endorsement by NPT of such organization, or its services or products.
Photographs courtesy: Alan Chin/HIAS, Maryland Food Bank, National Black Arts Festival, National Park Foundation, Against Malaria Foundation, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Free Library of Philadelphia, Women for Afghan Women, Mural Arts Philadelphia, Allan Gichigi/ One Acre Fund, Pat Tillman Foundation, First Nations Development Institute, Asian American Donor Program, Project HOME, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Allison Shelley/EDUimages/Chalkbeat. Other photos: iStock/Getty Images.
Giving USA 2023 Report Insights
BWF is excited to share the key findings from the 2023 Giving USA: The Annual Report on Philanthropy. Presented by the research team at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and the fundraising professionals at Giving USA Foundation, the Giving USA report is the longest-running, most extensive report on philanthropy in the United States. BWF is proud to be a member of The Giving Institute.
- Steve Biever
As our country continues to grapple with the aftermath of a global pandemic as well as uncertain economic conditions, including the highest inflation rates in 40 years, the state of giving has indeed felt the impact.
The economic conditions in 2022 introduced new challenges to giving—from a decline in the stock market and disposable personal income to the continued and persistent high rates of inflation..
Despite these challenges, the resilience and innovation that arose during the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to benefit nonprofits moving forward. Over the past few years, online giving has grown substantially, demonstrating a necessity for nonprofits to expand their technology to not only survive, but thrive. Evolution will be a critical component to success and will include expanding online giving, building the future pipeline of donors and sustaining existing donors, and adapting and optimizing on all new giving tools such as AI.
During the height of the pandemic, we witnessed unprecedented generosity during a time of great need. Fast forward to today, while there was an overall decline in giving in 2022, it is important to note that this follows record-high giving numbers in 2020 and 2021. Additionally, with the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the American public has sought ways to send donations and support relief efforts, thereby increasing our international affairs giving data. Therefore, in comparison, though technically a decline, the total giving in 2022 of $499.33 billion stands as an incredible giving figure, representing the tenacious generosity and compassionate spirit of the American people.
BWF is excited to share the key findings from this year’s Giving USA: The Annual Report on Philanthropy. Presented by the research team at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and the fundraising professionals at Giving USA Foundation, the Giving USA report is the longest-running, most extensive report on philanthropy in the United States. BWF is proud to be a member of The Giving Institute.
Key Findings from the Report:
In our review of the latest report, the following are the findings that stood out:
- The total estimated charitable giving in the United States reached $499.33 billion in 2022 , which demonstrated a decline of 3.4 percent between 2021 and 2022. When adjusted for inflation, this showed a decline of 10.5 percent in overall growth.
- The four sources of giving showed mixed results vis-à-vis inflation rates.
- Giving by individuals totaled an estimated $319.04 billion, declining 6.4 percent in 2022 (a decline of 13.4 percent when adjusted for inflation) after two of the most generous giving years on record. Mega-gifts by individuals totaled $14 billion in 2022 and represented about 5 percent of all giving by individuals for the second year in a row.
- Giving by foundations grew 2.5 percent, to an estimated $105.21 billion in 2022 (a decline of 5 percent when adjusted for inflation). Giving by foundations is growing as a share of total giving.
- Giving by bequest totaled an estimated $45.60 billion in 2022, growing by 2.3 percent over 2021 (a decline of 5.3 percent when adjusted for inflation).
- Giving by corporations is estimated to have increased by 3.4 percent in 2022, totaling $29.48 billion (a decline of 4.2 percent when adjusted for inflation), demonstrating the strongest growth rate of all four sources.
- Giving to some of the major subsectors grew, but not enough to outpace inflation. These include religion (5.2 percent, -2.6 percent per inflation), health (5.1 percent, -2.6 percent per inflation), and arts, culture, and humanities (2.9 percent, -4.7 percent).
- Giving to international affairs is estimated to have stayed level with 2021 at a growth of 10.9 percent. However, adjusted per inflation, it still decreased 2.7 percent.
- The remaining subsectors declined overall from the highs reached during the pandemic era including giving to human services (-.6 percent, -8 percent per inflation), education (-3.6 percent, -10.7 percent per inflation), public-society (-8.4 percent, -15.2 percent per inflation), and environmental and animal organizations (-1.6 percent, -8.9 percent per inflation).
- The only subsector to outpace inflation was giving to foundations, which is estimated to have increased by 10.1 percent (1.9 percent per inflation), while giving to individuals stayed relatively flat with a 0.6 percent growth (-6.8 percent per inflation).
Implications and Impact
After back-to-back record-setting years in 2020 and 2021, overall charitable giving declined from $516.65 billion in 2021 to $499.33 billion in 2022. The experts point to a number of factors for this dip in giving, but economic uncertainty is the root cause. Looking back to the end of 2020, the economy was gaining momentum and returned to a position of strength in 2021. Gross Domestic Product rose to 5.9 percent in 2021, and the financial markets also showed significant strength, as clearly evidenced by double digit growth of the S&P 500, which is highly correlated with charitable giving. Inflation, at the time, was beginning to creep into the picture and causing consumers some heartburn, but in the end, 2021 held on to the top position for the best year in charitable giving history.
At the end of 2021, it was assumed that giving would continue to be strong in 2022 because the S&P 500 seemed to be humming along. In December of 2021, JP Morgan, Wells Fargo, and Goldman Sachs all predicted the S&P would exceed 5,000 at the end of 2022, keeping in mind that it was 4,686 on December 7, 2021. But sometimes even the experts get it wrong. The S&P fell by 19.4 percent in 2022. Inflation reached 8 percent, the highest it had been in 40 years. And personal disposable income was down by .1 percent, or -7.5 percent when adjusted for inflation.
Americans have enjoyed low inflation for more than three decades, and 2022 gave most people the opportunity to learn for the first time how to live in a high inflationary environment. As record prices at the gas pumps and steady increases in the cost of food and consumer goods caused a general “belt tightening” across the nation, nonprofit leaders began to fear a possible decline in charitable giving. One doesn’t need to be an economist to know that high inflation reduces one’s purchasing power and thus decreases one’s discretionary income. When donors have less income, they are inclined to give less, especially small-dollar donors. It is safe to say that the decline in the stock market combined with high inflation impacted donors’ financial reality and overall confidence in the economy, thereby impacting charitable giving.
Philanthropy from Individuals Still Leads the Way
Amid recession fears, market swings, and rising inflation and interest rates, individual philanthropists continued to demonstrate incredible generosity through their charitable giving in 2022. Individuals continue to comprise the largest source of total charitable giving in the United States, while making up 64 percent of all donations. While the percentage of individual giving is slightly down from its previous total of 67 percent, nearly half a trillion dollars were contributed by individuals in 2022, making up the lion’s share of the charitable giving pie. It is also important to keep in mind that if the percentages of individual and bequest giving are combined, the total is 73 percent of all donations, which doesn’t even factor in the gifts from family foundations that live within the foundation source. Individuals leading the charitable way is not a new trend; however, there were some interesting nuances in 2022 that should grab the attention of nonprofit leaders and inform fundraising strategy in the future.
Fundraisers have lived in an environment where overall donation amounts have continued to rise while the number of donors giving to charity declined. Contrary to this trend, the contribution amounts at all levels of the donor pyramid fell in 2022 as did the number of donors giving to charity. This not only means there are fewer donors overall, which impacts fundraising totals, it translates into fewer donors who could potentially mature into an organization’s next transformational donor. This reality impacts strategy and has nonprofits thinking about the shorter-term victories through high-impact comprehensive campaigns and longer-term efforts to build a base of support that will serve as the major gifts pipeline of the future.
Moving the Needle Quickly Through Transformative Giving
One trend that held constant in 2022 is giving by mega-gift donors, or donors who can make an incredible impact through their transformational philanthropy. As ordinary people around the world suffer from the lingering impacts of the pandemic and the current state of the global economy, billionaires have seen their fortunes expand. According to the Institute for Policy Studies analysis of Forbes data, the combined wealth of all the billionaires in the United States increased by $2.071 trillion or 70 percent between March 18, 2020, and October 15, 2021, from approximately $2.947 trillion to $5.019 trillion. Of the more than 700 billionaires, the richest five at the time—Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page, and Elon Musk—saw a 123 percent increase in their combined wealth during this period, from $349 billion to $799 billion. It is an interesting (or maybe an alarming) fact to know that three men on the Forbes 400 richest list—Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, and investor Warren Buffett—held combined fortunes worth more than the total wealth of the poorest half of Americans.
Even if an organization doesn’t have billionaires in its portfolio of prospects, it is important to acknowledge that wealth inequality continues to increase domestically, and wealth is concentrated among a small percentage of individuals. These High-Net-Worth Individuals (HNWI) are responsible for a significant portion of total individual giving. The top 10 charitable gifts announced by individuals or their foundations in 2022 totaled nearly $9.3 billion, with a $5 billion gift from Bill Gates topping the list, according to The Chronicle of Philanthropy . The total of mega-gifts in 2022 hit the $14 billion mark and represented about 5 percent of all giving by individuals for the second year in a row. Gifts from donors like Bill Gates, MacKenzie Scott and Dan Jewett, Steve Ballmer, Warren Buffett, and others are transformational for universities and nonprofit organizations. More importantly, they help illustrate the importance of the work that takes place at the top of the donor pyramid.
With equity markets primed to rebound, last year’s strong lean towards giving non-cash assets is likely to continue. As organizations make near-term investments in their fundraising operations, they should consider the immediate impact that their organization could make at the top of the donor pyramid. Baby Boomers have amassed immense wealth and have appreciated assets at their disposal to give. While there is significant opportunity for current gifts from this generation, it is also a fact that there is an opportunity to assist them with their legacy plans. Many of them have not taken the time to create an estate plan and will need assistance in helping them establish a vision and plan for passing along their charitable values.
A best practice of highly effective fundraising shops is to commit dedicated resources to support a principal gifts program. Regardless of what size of gifts qualify at this level of support for an organization, there needs to be a centralized department that works with organizational leadership to develop and coordinate the donor strategies and the players involved to keep activity at the top of the donor pyramid running like a well-oiled machine. Collaboration, coordination, and communication among the frontline gift officers, the prospect development team, advancement and organizational leadership, and volunteers are essential components to ensuring high quality experiences for these donor investors so they understand the return on their investments.
Donors Have Become Much More Sophisticated, So Should We
Giving has become much more diversified in today’s philanthropic marketplace. Donors at all levels, not just HNWI, are seeking savvy, strategic, and convenient ways to support their charities of choice, maximize their tax and financial situations, and make greater impacts to improve the world that we live in. As donor sophistication increases, so must our ability to understand the tools, language, and vehicles that they are using. For example, even though Donor Advised Funds (DAFs) were established nearly a century ago at community foundations around the country, they have risen in tremendous popularity over the past decade and have recently surpassed $250 billion in total assets. Using unusual assets like cryptocurrency, commodities, an equity stake in a company, IPO stock, and other non-cash assets to make gifts is becoming commonplace amongst donors. The level of philanthropic education and access to information for donors are opening new doors to transformative opportunities for our organizations, and we must be ready to understand how to accept these forms of philanthropy.
Competition Will Only Make Us Better
In 2022, individual giving as a percentage of disposable personal income reached its lowest level of 1.7 percent since 1995. With a flooded philanthropic marketplace, fewer numbers of donors giving to charity, and shrinking donation sizes at all donor segments, competition for the donor dollar is fierce, creating space for innovative and entrepreneurial marketing strategies. As organizations attempt to differentiate themselves from their competitors, it is more imperative than ever before to be able to articulate a crystal-clear funding position through a compelling case for support that will appeal to a broader audience.
Many of us who have been in the fundraising industry for several decades have seen a definite shift in donor behavior based on generation. Our more “mature in age” donors typically gave out of loyalty and may have taken a more hands-off approach to their philanthropy. Gen Z and Millennials want to take a more active approach to giving and tend to gravitate toward supporting causes through active volunteerism and giving annually. Whether you work for a major university or a small nonprofit organization, cause-related donor acquisition and a case for support that elicits cause-related philanthropic investment have become a necessity in all messaging and marketing efforts.
Corporate and Foundation Giving Holding Strong
While giving by foundations, bequests, and corporations all grew in current dollars in 2022, only corporations and foundations experienced two-year growth, even after adjusting for inflation. In 2021, many of the corporate sub-sectors that were affected by the pandemic experienced some level of recovery that helped to contribute to a rise in overall pre-tax profits, by 37.4 percent, thereby creating more philanthropic dollars to be given away. In 2022, there were two contributing factors that contributed to a better than average performance—GDP and pre-tax profits. GDP increased 9.2 percent, or 1.1 percent adjusted for inflation, and pre-tax profits increased by 6.6 percent, or -1.3 percent adjusted for inflation. It is an obvious but important point to note that corporations give in various ways to nonprofit organizations over and above what is typically considered philanthropic dollars. Corporate giving is complex and extends beyond altruism to goodwill, marketing, and overcoming negative publicity. In many ways, it is best to think of the relationships that nonprofits have with corporations as strategic partnerships.
Corporations continue to direct the majority of their philanthropic investments to issues and causes of diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice as well as workforce development opportunities. While DEIJ initiatives and programs within nonprofits have become priorities for organizations, they need to be marketed and have a strong presence among giving offerings. Corporations are also aggressively trying to diversify their workforce with employees that have knowledge about theory and experience with application within their industries. Encouraging workplace volunteer programs and opportunities for employee involvement will build a stronger culture among the corporate employee base, while shining a light on opportunities for philanthropic investment.
One of the biggest headlines and surprises of 2022 was the growth experienced in foundation giving. When looking at the history of giving by foundations over the past 20 years, it’s rather remarkable. In 1982, foundations were responsible for 5 percent of total giving. In 2022, that number has grown to 21 percent, or $1 of every $5 given to charity. Digging a little deeper into the data, roughly 50 percent of foundation giving consists of family foundation giving, which emphasizes the importance of both institutional and individual relationship building in the overall foundation giving space.
While charitable giving from individuals is the hallmark of a successful fundraising program, corporate and foundation giving are important to a well-balanced fundraising operation. The fact that corporations and foundations have experienced growth even when adjusting for inflation tells us that institutional support has not wavered during economic uncertainty.
Technology Can Be Our Friend
Online engagement is a critical component of a nonprofit organization’s communication, fundraising, advocacy, and stewardship strategies. During the pandemic, we witnessed record growth in online giving across all sectors, and the American people are becoming more comfortable using digital means to make their gifts, especially at the middle and base of the pyramid. In 2022, mobile devices were responsible for the majority of all visits to nonprofit websites, and over 75 percent of the surveyed Gen Z and Millennial donors reported preferring giving online. This trend, coupled with the understanding that the younger generation gives to values-based causes like education, social justice issues, animal welfare, and mental health, should influence how the donor experience or donor journey is created for these audiences.
Giving to the international affairs subsector is one of the best illustrations of how the American people rallied around the international crisis of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine through their online support. International Affairs increased by nearly 11 percent and was one of the few subsectors that outpaced inflation.
BWF has assisted hundreds of forward-thinking organizations in developing digital engagement centers that has led to lead generation, warming of the base, and donor journeys that will build the donor pipeline of the future and retain donors through thoughtful stewardship. An overall engagement strategy that creates a tailored journey by incorporating email, text messaging, and personalized videos with tools such as ethical artificial intelligence will result in an overall better donor experience and convert one-time gifts into repeat donors.
A Deeper Dive Into the Subsectors
The data associated with the philanthropic sub-sectors tells an interesting story in 2022. Education and human service organizations performed extremely well during the pandemic but experienced declines in current dollars during the past year. Although the declines may cause some concern within these two subsectors, giving to public and private universities continues to be exceptionally strong, and both the number of currently active campaigns and their associated campaign goals have continued to rise and generate billions of dollars to educational causes. It is important to note that giving to human service organizations edged education in total giving for the first time in history. It has now moved into the second leading recipient of charitable giving, with 14 percent of the pie. Among all subsectors, international affairs was the big winner, experiencing nearly 11 percent growth in current dollars over a year ago. Events like the war in Ukraine and other humanitarian crises around the globe can explain the tremendous growth in this sub-sector. In fact, only international affairs and foundations outpaced inflation in 2022. Religion, health, and arts, culture, and humanities also sustained small to moderate growth in current dollars but declined because of inflation.
It is difficult to derive definitive trends within the subsectors in 2022 because many of them experienced record growth in giving during the pandemic. As the pandemic curtailed from the end of 2020 and into 2021 and occupied less of the media spotlight, donors started to demonstrate pre-pandemic behavior by supporting causes that they had previously supported. Given the current economic conditions, heightened awareness of wars and unrest around the world, and an upcoming political election, it is difficult to predict the future of charitable giving behavior in the coming year. As a result of these murky waters, nonprofit organizations must strive to remain relevant and sustain their shares within the philanthropic marketplace by creating meaningful experiences for their donors, demonstrating and articulating the return on philanthropic investment, and accentuating the unique causes that each represents.
What we have learned in 2022 is that trends in the philanthropic marketplace contribute to a very complex and ever-evolving understanding of how to approach the future. While the economic conditions of 2022 caused an overall decline in giving, philanthropy continues to be very strong in the United States and plays a significant role in solving the issues and problems in today’s society. Donors continue to show adaptability and resiliency in their giving behaviors, which is a testament to the work we do and the differences we have made for the greater good. We should all celebrate the incredible generosity demonstrated in 2022 and focus on keeping donors informed, close, and well stewarded as they partner with us in 2023 and beyond.
Related Thought Leadership
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It is widely understood that planned giving can play a crucial part of any comprehensive fundraising program. However, lack of confidence often leads gift officers to avoid the topic when interacting with donors. This article explores three ideas that development leaders can use to help their staff, and even themselves, feel more at ease with planned giving concepts.
Why Digital Wallets Make Sense in Fundraising
While the philanthropy sector has been relatively slow to embrace modern payment methods such as digital wallets, the adoption of Apple Pay, Google Pay, Venmo, etc has become critically important. In this article, we explore why nonprofits should wholeheartedly embrace digital wallets with urgency to offer donors the experience they expect.
You Might Be Undervaluing the Donor Experience in Your Fundraising Program
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Giving USA's 2022 Philanthropy Report
Economic conditions factor strongly in giving trends. Over the last 40 years, only four years saw declines in giving—1987, 2008, 2009 and last year, 2022. These years all saw significant economic challenges. In 1987, the stock market crashed; the financial crisis of 2008 was severe and widespread, and lasted into 2009; and in 2022, the world was returning to a new normal and seeking recovery from the increased needs and demands of the pandemic, all while inflation was reaching 40-year highs and the stock market was down 25.4% [*] .
While overall giving was down in 2022, there is reason to be optimistic with bright spots including mega donations, increased engagement in younger generations, and more opportunity with online giving.
Overall Giving is Down, but the Share of Sources of Giving is Becoming More Diverse
After a significant revision upward to $516.65 billion in giving in 2021, giving declined 10.5% to $499.33 billion [*] in 2022. Total giving was 1.9% of GDP in 2022, down from a 40-year high in 2020 of 2.3%. Sources of funds are also down. Inflation reached 9.1% in 2022, causing all four sources of funds—Corporations, Bequests, Foundations, and Individuals—to decline.
Since 1982, giving by foundations has grown significantly as a percentage of total giving; 6% in the first five years of Giving USA reports, to 19% in the most recent five years. In contrast, as a percentage of total giving, corporations have consistently given 5-6%. Giving from Individuals declined significantly over that time from 81% to 67%.
Diversify Fundraising Strategy
As giving from individuals takes a smaller share of the pie, giving way to foundations, corporations, and bequests, it is important for nonprofits to diversify their fundraising strategy to appeal to new and different donors. Conversations about estate planning is one place to start, as well as reaching out to local and national corporations that may align with your mission area.
Megadonors Make Headlines
Mega gifts by a handful of individuals, including MacKenzie Scott, totaled $13.96 billion, which is approximately 4.3% of individual gifts.
Review your publicly available information and consider transparency
Mega gifts are likely to continue with the Giving Pledge and other large donors committed to giving away their wealth. To be prepared for these gifts make sure your publicly available financial data is clear and up to date, and your impact and evidence-based outcomes are visible on your website and organizational ratings are high on websites that track nonprofit activity.
Disposable Income Is Down
Disposable income declined by 7.5% [*] in 2022. Giving as a percentage of disposable income was 1.7%. Overall, individual giving declined by 13.4% [*] .
Tell Your Story
With the impact of inflation, annual donors may feel like they cannot give as much. Telling your story and sharing meaningful outcomes is more important than ever. Focusing on three areas—challenges, opportunities, and successes—can help build trust with your donors. Provide meaningful data to support the call to action, then make the ask. Also consider moving your annual one-time donors to a smaller monthly amount that, over a year, will be a larger donation. For example, consider a donor that gives $50 annually. If they gave $5 monthly instead, their annual contribution would be $60—a 20% increase!
Giving to International Affairs Is Up
Religion, Human Services, and Education remain the top three uses of funds, but International Affairs saw a 10.9% increase in giving, likely attributable to the crisis in Ukraine and more frequent natural disasters.
Expect Geopolitical and Environmental Trend to Continue
Geopolitical issues continue to influence the economy and markets, and now we are seeing the impacts in donor giving. World Health Organization reports that in 2023, 339 million  people are facing humanitarian crisis with severe health impacts, which may lead to more emergency funding for several cause areas. Dollars toward religious affiliated organizations may increase as they often support human aide and war-torn regions. Additionally, the percentage of Millennials attending church is on the rise, 39% in 2022 compared to 21% in 2019  , Gen Z’s attendance is also up which will likely influence giving to religious organizations in a positive way.
Donor Advised Funds (DAF) Continue to be a Popular Vehicle for Philanthropy
With flow rates in 2021 topping 60% (for every $10 received into DAFs, $6 is paid out) down from over 70% in 2020, nonprofit leaders should remain thoughtful about how to approach donors with DAFs. Most current data reveal Education continues to represent the largest share of grant dollars received from DAFs in 2020 at 26%, down slightly from 30% in 2019. We saw the biggest increase in DAF dollars received in the public society benefit category, at 16%.
Start with understanding your donor base and ask about Donor Advised Funds
Watch for legislation around DAFs. Despite high flow rates, there continues to be a push for stricter requirements around distributions from DAFs. Additionally, despite the large number of dollars flowing into DAFs, only about 19% of Americans said they know what DAFs are and how they work  . The opportunity set is great and will likely be a continued funding vehicle for those with philanthropic goals. Capturing DAF grants begins with understanding your donor base today—be sure to know who has a DAF, or is likely to, based on research using a wealth verification tool or publicly available data. Understand where your time is best spent with donors around these conversations, whether they be education around DAFs, engaging the next generation, or overall giving strategy.
Number of Charitable Organization Is Up
There are 1,480,565 charitable organizations registered under Section 501c3 of the Internal Revenue Code  , a 3.4% increase over 2021, slightly ahead of the 3.2% increase over 2020.
Identify partners in your community and collaborate
Collaboration is crucial to avoid duplication of efforts and affect the greatest change in our communities. Working together with other nonprofits on fundraising efforts, leveraging networks to share best practices, and aligning programmatically will strengthen partnerships. Many organizations have experienced turnover in leadership after the challenges of the last few years. Use this opportunity to connect with new nonprofits and new leaders to support one another in achieving your missions.
Baby Boomers Remain Top Givers, Millennials Close Behind
By generation, Baby Boomers gave more annually than all other cohorts. Millennials gave more than Gen X and donated the most hours with an average of 36 donated in 2022.
Tailor Your Fundraising Approach
Until the official “wealth transfer” occurs, Baby Boomers will likely continue to lead in terms of giving. But it is important to understand the influence of grandparents and parents on future generations. Recruiting the younger generations to volunteer, sit on your board, and engage with your organization will help them see the impact of your mission and build relationships. Be mindful in your fundraising strategy with different generation segments. Pay attention to what they value, how they prefer to communicate, and how to best get them involved in advancing your mission.
Giving Online Is Up
Technology has a significant influence on giving. All generations are giving more online than they did in 2016 and increased the number of online gifts in 2022. More donors were influenced by websites and social media in 2022 than they were in 2016.
Focus on Digital
To attract more giving, make your donation process as easy as possible. An investment in your website donation function is well worth your resources, as is including information around all forms of giving like planned gifts on your site. Also consider investments in cybersecurity to make sure you are stewarding donor information effectively.
To further understand how your organization may be impacted or can capitalize on these trends in giving, and for additional insights, please reach out to [email protected].
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Important Legal Disclosures and Information
*Adjusted for inflation.
- Americans’ Understanding of and Opinions about Charitable Foundations and Donor-Advised Funds,” Institute for Policy Studies, July 2022, https://ips-dc.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/ Summary-of-American-Opinions-re-Foundations_Final.pdf
- As of April 2023
Source: Giving USA: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2021 (2022). Chicago: Giving USA Foundation.
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2023 Annual Report
Growing Our Impact.
For those who have supported or partnered with San Diego Foundation this past year, it is our honor to share our 2023 annual report with you.
It was another remarkable year for San Diego Foundation, with $131.1 million in grants distributed to nonprofit partners. In the last three years, we have granted nearly $400 million, thanks to our donors. Our donors make our work possible — and this year was like none other, thanks to Jay Kahn's $106 million gift that will help SDF continue to innovate and support the San Diego region — forever.
We continued to work towards just, equitable and resilient communities. To advance racial and social justice, we launched the Black InGenius Initiative with the University of San Diego to advance the educational opportunity among rising sixth graders throughout San Diego County. To foster equity of opportunity, the Community Scholarship Program awarded a record-breaking $4 million to more than 1,000 local college students. To build resilient communities, we launched the Housing Fund to provide investment funds and partnerships focused on affordable and middle-income housing development. To deliver world-class philanthropy, we finalized our plans for the first San Diego Fundraising Conference that will educate and inspire 400 attendees from 250 nonprofit organizations throughout the region.
Our work to address the most significant needs of our community happens because of the many talented, caring people and partners who support it. From our donors and funders to our community-based organizations, universities and municipalities, we are educating, employing and housing San Diego together. This important work and collective impact is also made possible by our mission-driven Board of Governors and staff.
Thank you for all you have done — and will do — for our region. We look forward to growing our impact, together, in the coming year as we work towards a San Diego where everyone can thrive, prosper and feel like they belong.
Dr. Pamela Luster
Chair, Board of Governors
Mark A. Stuart, CFRE
President & CEO
Meeting Regional Need.
In the second year of our Strategic Plan, we continued striving for just, equitable and resilient communities. While San Diego transitioned out of the COVID-19 pandemic, nonprofit partners continued to serve the growing need in our region. Thanks to donors and partners, $131.1 million was distributed in 8,925 grants to 2,577 nonprofits. Since 2020, SDF and our donors have distributed nearly $400 million in grants.
Giving Where It's Needed.
We continued our support of community-based organizations serving San Diegans in need. Working with donors, from individual philanthropists to family foundations to well-known San Diego-based nonprofits like the Dr. Seuss Foundation, we designated grants to support nonprofits' needs. San Diego Foundation also invested flexible funding to strengthen children and families, education, environment, housing, racial and social justice, workforce development and crisis philanthropy. Here's what our $131.1 million in collective impact supported last year:
Health & Human Services
Arts & Culture
* Note: Other grantmaking totaling $6,135,805 includes international, foreign affair & national security; mutual & membership benefit; and religion-related grants.
* Unaudited as of June 30, 2023
Supporting Our Community.
San Diego Foundation granted funds to local, regional, national and international nonprofits last year, including $109,519,906 to local nonprofits helping those in need throughout San Diego County.
San Diego County $109,519,906
U.S. & International $11,755,891
Expanding Educational Equity.
Research shows that time outside of the classroom is nearly as important to youth development and learning as traditional school time.
Out-of-school time learning, or expanded learning, helps to address gaps and inequities in our traditional school systems and has proven to help address the pandemic's impacts on learning and social-emotional well-being.
In 2021, San Diego Foundation partnered with San Diego Unified School District and local nonprofits to launch Level Up SD, which brought a summer of learning and joy to San Diego school children and youth. This past year, SDF launched three additional expanded learning programs: County Expanded Learning Grants with other school districts and partners throughout the county, the Black InGenius Initiative with the University of San Diego, and the Growth Education Mentors and Scholars, or GEMS, program with various nonprofit partners.
Together, SDF has granted $31 million to 176 nonprofit partners and served more than 51,000 students through expanded learning.
"Whether it's visiting a museum, learning to play guitar, or participating in a sports camp, Level Up SD offers many students opportunities that were otherwise out of reach due to cost or transportation needs." Dr. Lamont Jackson Superintendent San Diego Unified School District
Equity in Action.
View videos of our equity work with nonprofit partners.
A Vision for the Future
Vision to Learn is helping Chula Vista students do better in school simply by putting on a pair of glasses.
Changing Lives: Meliya's Scholarship Story
Coming from a low-income household, Meliya Russom grew up with the thought of affording college always on her mind.
Goal-Getters: Teaching More Than Soccer
With the help of Level Up SD and The Chicano Federation, more students are returning to the classroom prepared after a summer of learning and fun.
Diversifying the Local STEM Workforce
The lack of diversity in science, technology, engineering and science (STEM) drives leaders and educators at MiraCosta College to provide quality access to opportunity.
Empowering Tomorrow's Workforce
SBCS provides a wide range of services for local families, including an internship program to help youth get quality jobs and thrive.
Celebrating Jay Kahn's Philanthropy.
In February 2023, San Diego Foundation received a $106 million unrestricted gift from the estate of Jay Kahn, a local entrepreneur and music lover.
The unrestricted gift is the largest of its kind to a San Diego nonprofit.
Kahn's gift was the third largest unrestricted gift to a U.S. community foundation. To honor Kahn's memory, SDF used a portion of the gift to create the Jay Kahn Endowment Fund and awarded $150,000 unrestricted grants to 10 San Diego-based music education nonprofits. The intent of the grants is to grow music appreciation in San Diego in memory of Kahn, a classical musician who played clarinet in symphonies at the University of California San Diego and the University of San Diego.
Kahn's gift also provided seed funding for the SD Housing Fund, which will invest in affordable housing developments throughout the county; supported SDF Strategic Plan initiatives; and created an internal innovations fund to help pilot new SDF programs and explore the expansion of existing programs.
"Jay Kahn was a compassionate man who loved San Diego and wished for his legacy and estate to be used for the good of San Diego." Mark Stuart President & CEO San Diego Foundation
Philanthropy in Action.
View videos of grantees impacted by Jay Kahn's gift.
Keeping Jazz Alive in San Diego
Young Lions Jazz Conservatory keeps the influence and legacy of jazz music alive.
Fine Tuning Students
Guitars and Ukes in the Classroom teaches students the value of music with personal development skills, leadership and more.
Shaping Students' Lives Through Music
For about 80 years, San Diego Youth Symphony has given young people in San Diego the opportunity to express themselves through music.
Empowering San Diego's Unhoused Community
Voices of Our City choir was founded in 2016 and has quickly grown into a fullfledged nonprofit that is instrumental for those living in the homeless community.
An Instrumental Part in Supporting San Diego's System-Affected Youth
Through art, music and media, David's Harp Foundation serves young people, teaching them the value of relationships and connection.
Helping Cali-Baja Build Community.
Launched in fall 2022 as a partnership of San Diego Foundation and the International Community Foundation, the Binational Resilience Initiative places geographic focus on the Cali-Baja coastline region that spans from Oceanside in North San Diego County in the U.S. to Ensenada in Baja California, Mexico.
This is the largest economic zone along the U.S.-Mexico border and generates a regional GDP of $250 billion, an estimated $70 billion in cross-border trade flows and more than 90 million people crossing the border each year.
The initiative addresses our cross-border region's climate vulnerabilities by empowering binational collaborations between civil organizations, scientists, community leaders and other stakeholders. Funded projects include those that enhance coastal resilience due to global climate change, reduce the impact of pollution in the Tijuana River watershed, champion local leadership from communities on both sides of the border, and build a knowledge base of research to inform future efforts.
"We are excited to work with San Diego Foundation to continue to support cross-border relationships that uplift and strengthen the shared resilience of our region." Marisa Quiroz President & CEO International Community Foundation
Community in Action.
View videos of our community-building work with partners.
Binational Resilience Initiative
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Our network of donors is an integral partner in our work, giving millions each year towards the causes they care about, near and far.
Our gratitude extends to every donor — from our San Diego Sustainers to our donor-advised fundholders — who has placed their trust in us as faithful stewards of their charitable giving. Thanks to you, we continue to strive for just, equitable and resilient communities where everyone can thrive, prosper and feel like they belong.
In partnership with our donors, foundations, municipal partners and corporations, we granted the second-highest amount of funds in our organization's history at $131.1 million. During the past year, donor-advised giving amounted to 70% of our grantmaking, while the remainder went towards our Strategic Plan priorities that were introduced in 2021 and hone in on the greatest challenges in our region.
We thank our donors who are making an impact with their donor-advised funds for their continued contributions and assistance to those in need in our region. These gifts — no matter what size — make a difference to our region's nonprofit organizations and to the under-resourced San Diegans that they serve. To maximize the charitable resources and collective impact in our region, SDF advises and encourages donors to give as much as they can, as often as they can to those in need.
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Donor-Advised Payout Rate *
* The payout rate is a calculation of grantmaking dollars from donor-advised funds (DAFs) to nonprofit organizations relative to the total charitable non-endowed assets in DAFs.
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In June, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) worked with San Diego Foundation to award grants of $250,000 to $1 million to 21 nonprofit organizations regionwide to expand essential services for vulnerable residents – from military families to older adults to refugees – who struggle with basic needs such as housing stability and food security.
Over the past 12 years, SDG&E has invested more than $100 million in shareholder dollars to support workforce development, public safety, environmental stewardship and education.
"With these grants, we're fortunate to have the opportunity to support the missions of so many dedicated local organizations..." Caroline Winn CEO San Diego Gas & Electric
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The James Silberrad Brown Foundation at San Diego Foundation was inspired in 2021 by Jim Brown, a local real estate professional and entrepreneur. Founded by his wife, Marilyn, it honors his memory and provides lasting support to our community.
Since its founding, the James Silberrad Brown Foundation at SDF has granted more than $15 million to organizations that meaningfully serve our region – from San Diego State University to Sharp Healthcare to San Diego Symphony.
"You don't necessarily give funding to places, you give it to people..." Marilyn Creson Brown SDF Donor-Advised Fundholder
The Dean Rudesill Scholarship Foundation at San Diego Foundation provides scholarships to veterans, active-duty servicemembers and their dependents and honors the memory of a family friend. Dean enlisted in the U.S. Navy during WWII. After the war, he was released from duty, but a job was hard to find. Dean never forgot those days.
Before his death, he shared with the Kaiser family that he wanted to establish a scholarship for veterans. As of this year, their fund has awarded 35 scholarships since 2020.
"We wanted to do something that would keep his name alive..." Craig Kaiser SDF Scholarship Donor
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The past year started and ended with positive economic growth, with markets continuing their upward path from the previous year. Thanks to this activity, the endowment and non-endowment portfolios continued to grow, with nearly all asset classes outperforming their benchmarks. With both portfolios showing positive growth, donors have the flexibility to make philanthropic gifts on their timeline – whether it's giving today or leaving a lasting legacy for grantmaking in perpetuity.
Endowment Portfolio Total Returns **
As of June 30, 2023
** The SDF Policy Index is a composite of indexes reflecting our diversified portfolio, specifically: 40% MSCI ACWI IMI , 10% Bloomberg US Universal Bond Index, 15% HFRI Fund of Fund Composite Index, 15% Pro-rata % Cambridge Private Equity Index Lagged and unallocated % to MSCI ACWI IMI, 3% Real Assets Benchmark, 7% NCREIF ODCE Net, 10% S&P LSTA Leveraged Loan Index + 150bps.
"We are excited to share that the majority of our investment portfolios continue to beat their respective policy indexes, thanks to the market's prolonged healthy rally that started earlier this year." Matt Fettig, CFA Chief Investment Officer, San Diego Foundation
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San Diego continues to be known as one of the most philanthropic regions in the United States, with donors who give with full hearts on a regular basis. The generosity of SDF donors is exemplified in its 2,384 donor-advised funds, including 1,371 endowment funds.
This past year, our assets grew, allowing us to continue our strong philanthropy and equity-building in communities throughout the San Diego region, forever.
$1,304,655,000, $1,308,874,000, start giving today..
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How do we measure philanthropy in the U.S.? A look at who’s counted in Giving USA
Posted on November 12, 2021 by Andy Ware
By Jon Bergdoll and Anna Pruitt, Ph.D.
Giving USA , researched at the Indiana University Lilly Family School in partnership with Giving USA Foundation, is the longest running and most trusted annual report about U.S. philanthropy. Each year, Giving USA publishes an estimate of total charitable giving in the U.S. In 2020, that estimate reached a record $471.44 billion.
What types of giving are counted in Giving USA ?
Giving USA estimates charitable giving by individuals, foundations, estates, and corporations. For the purposes of Giving USA , charitable giving is defined as donations made to organizations designated as 501(c)3 by the IRS, which include public charities, private foundations, and religiously-exempt organizations such as congregations.
For the giving by individuals estimate, Giving USA includes a calculation for households that itemize deductions each year, as well as households that do not itemize their deductions, thus capturing a nationally representative picture of charitable giving by all households in the United States.
For estimating individual giving for those who itemize each year, the model begins with tax data, specifically, data the IRS received from individuals. The model incorporates various economic variables such as personal consumption and changes to the S&P 500 Index.
To estimate individual giving for those who do not itemize, as has been done for the past decade, Giving USA develops an estimate using the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy’s Philanthropy Panel Study (PPS) data, which is based on the responses of about 9,000 American households on their charitable giving behaviors.
We work hard to ensure that this picture of charitable giving to 501(c)3 and other charitable organizations is as thorough as possible. However, the most recent data from the PPS indicate that under 50 percent of all U.S. households made a charitable contribution in 2018. What does the picture look like for other types of giving back that do not go to 501(c)3 organizations?
What types of giving are not counted in Giving USA ?
Of the ways to give back that are not captured in Giving USA , two of the most common approaches are informal giving and crowdfunding.
- Informal giving
Informal giving is defined as giving directly to individuals, households, or businesses. One study found that the average Arizonan household gave $501 informally, and recent PPS data similarly found a mean of $441 for giving outside of child support and alimony to individuals living outside the home.
Unfortunately, informal giving is difficult to estimate since there is no formal and consistent way that this giving is being counted; unlike giving to a 501(c)3 organization, informal gifts cannot be deducted for tax purposes. One thing we do know, however, is that donors of color are more likely to participate in this direct form of giving .
Crowdfunding is a blanket term that simply refers to the practice of raising small amounts of money from a large number of funders to support a project. Crowdfunding can include campaigns that raise funds for nonprofits as well as campaigns that raise funds for individuals or businesses.
Crowdfunding campaigns that raise dollars for nonprofits are included in the Giving USA totals, and a recent study by our school found that about 22 percent of crowdfunded dollars went to nonprofits. However, the largest share of crowdfunding dollars (58 percent) went to helping individuals (family, acquaintances, or strangers). These dollars are not be captured in the Giving USA totals. We also know that women as well as younger and more diverse donors are likely to give to crowdfunding campaigns.
Unfortunately, like informal giving, there is no standard data collection on crowdfunding that could serve as the basis for an estimate.
While Giving USA does a great job of capturing giving to 501(c)3 and other formal charitable organizations, there is room for additional research. We see a growing, dynamic, and diverse donor base giving through informal channels as well as crowdfunding. Given the importance of these approaches to philanthropy, we also hope to see growth in the data collection in this area.
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Annual Report 2022-2023
Global reach, local impact..
Bloomberg Philanthropies invests in 700 cities and 150 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. We focus on five key areas for creating lasting change: the Arts , Education , Environment , Government Innovation , and Public Health , in addition to special Founder’s Projects . Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s giving, including corporate, foundation, and personal philanthropy, as well as Bloomberg Associates , a pro bono consultancy that works in cities around the world.
Mike has committed the vast majority of the profits from Bloomberg L.P. , the global financial technology, data, and media company that he founded in 1981, to support the work of Bloomberg Philanthropies.
In 2022, we distributed $1.7 billion globally. Over his lifetime, Mike has given $14.4 billion to philanthropy.
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By investing in mayors and local leaders, we can scale and spread change faster than ever — and help make this period of unprecedented urbanization a time of unprecedented global progress.
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Bloomberg Philanthropies’ unique approach is grounded in Mike’s experience in business, government, and philanthropy, and it guides all of our work to save and improve lives.
Giving USA 2018: Americans Gave $410.02 Billion to Charity in 2017, Crossing the $400 Billion Mark for the First Time
Official press release, stock market, economic conditions helped drive solid growth in contributions across the board.
Giving exceeded $400 billion in a single year for the first time, increasing 5.2 percent (3.0 percent adjusted for inflation) over the revised total of $389.64 contributed in 2016. (Please see below for a more detailed breakdown of the numbers for each philanthropic source and sector.)
Giving USA, the longest-running and most comprehensive report of its kind in America, is published by Giving USA Foundation, a public service initiative of The Giving Institute. It is researched and written by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI.
“Americans’ record-breaking charitable giving in 2017 demonstrates that even in divisive times our commitment to philanthropy is solid. As people have more resources available, they are choosing to use them to make a difference, pushing giving over $400 billion,” said Aggie Sweeney, CFRE, chair of Giving USA Foundation and senior counsel at Campbell & Company. “Contributions went up nearly across the board, signaling that Americans seem to be giving according to their beliefs and interests, which are diverse and wide-ranging.”
Giving from all four sources and giving to all but one of the major types of recipient organizations grew in 2017, driven by economic conditions. While policy developments may have played some role in charitable giving in 2017, most of the effects of the tax policy changes adopted in late December 2017 likely will affect giving in 2018 and beyond.
“The increase in giving in 2017 was generated in part by increases in the stock market, as evidenced by the nearly 20 percent growth in the S&P 500. Investment returns funded multiple very large gifts, most of which were given by individuals to their foundations, including two gifts of $1 billion or more,” said Amir Pasic, Ph.D., the Eugene R. Tempel dean of the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. “This tells us that some of our most fortunate citizens are using their wealth to make some significant contributions to the common good.”
In addition to the S&P 500, other economic factors, such as personal income and personal consumption, are associated with households’ long-term financial stability and have historically been correlated with giving by individuals. These factors also experienced strong growth in 2017.
Highlights about Charitable Giving by Source
- Giving by three of the four sources of giving grew 5 percent or more.
- Giving by individuals represented 70 percent of total giving.
- Giving by foundations has seen strong growth for the past seven years, according to data provided by the Foundation Center. Its five-year annualized average growth rate of 7.6 percent far exceeds the 4.3 percent annualized average growth rate for total giving.
- Corporate giving was boosted by $405 million in contributions for relief related to natural and manmade disasters.
“Donors and funders are becoming ever more sophisticated in their approaches to making gifts as they draw on the increasing availability of new data, new technology and new ideas,” said Rachel Hutchisson, chair of The Giving Institute, and vice president of corporate citizenship and philanthropy for Blackbaud. “We are seeing innovations across the philanthropic sector that are contributing to strong growth in giving, which benefits everyone.”
The Numbers for 2017 Charitable Giving by Source:
- Giving by individuals totaled an estimated $286.65 billion, rising 5.2 percent in 2017 (an increase of 3.0 percent, adjusted for inflation).
- Giving by foundations increased 6.0 percent, to an estimated $66.90 billion in 2017 (an increase of 3.8 percent, adjusted for inflation). Data on foundation giving are provided by the Foundation Center.
- Giving by bequest totaled an estimated $35.70 billion in 2017, increasing 2.3 percent from 2016 (a 0.2 percent increase, adjusted for inflation).
- Giving by corporations is estimated to have increased by 8.0 percent in 2017, totaling $20.77 billion (an increase of 5.7 percent, adjusted for inflation).
“Giving to nearly all categories of charities experienced significant growth, and giving to foundations achieved a double-digit growth rate,” said Una Osili, Ph.D., associate dean for research and international programs at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. “Economic growth contributed to these widespread increases in 2017, and there is heightened interest in the overall economic environment and other factors that can help nonprofits sustain this growth over time.”
Highlights about 2017 Gifts to Charitable Organizations
Charitable subsectors receiving contributions generally experienced strong growth.
- Giving to foundations saw the largest growth in charitable contributions, increasing 15.5 percent, based on data provided by the Foundation Center. This growth was driven by extraordinarily large gifts by major philanthropists, such as Michael and Susan Dell and Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan, to their foundations.
- Giving to eight of the nine major types of recipient organizations increased in 2017.
- The exception was giving to international affairs organizations, which declined after several years of steady growth. However, giving to this subsector still reached its third-highest level ever recorded.
- Seven of the nine types of recipient organizations experienced growth of 5 percent or more.
“The broad growth in giving to virtually all charitable subsectors suggests that charities are connecting effectively with their donors and demonstrating their impact and case for support,” said Patrick M. Rooney, Ph.D., executive associate dean for academic affairs at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. “While it is too soon to know with certainty how recent policy changes may influence when and how much donors give, what is certain is that cultivating and nurturing strong, ongoing relationships with donors will only become more important as the changes to federal tax policy made at the end of 2017 take effect.”
The Numbers for 2017 Charitable Giving to Recipients:
- Giving to religion increased 2.9 percent (0.7 percent adjusted for inflation), receiving an estimated $127.37 billion in contributions.
- Giving to education is estimated to have increased 6.2 percent (4.0 percent adjusted for inflation) to $58.90 billion.
- Giving to human services increased by an estimated 5.1 percent (2.9 percent adjusted for inflation) totaling $50.06 billion.
- Giving to foundations is estimated to have increased by 15.5 percent (13.1 percent adjusted for inflation) to $45.89 billion, based on data provided by the Foundation Center.
- Giving to health organizations is estimated to have increased by 7.3 percent (5.1 percent adjusted for inflation) to $38.27 billion.
- Giving to public-society benefit organizations increased an estimated 7.8 percent (5.5 percent adjusted for inflation) to $29.59 billion.
- Giving to arts, culture, and humanities is estimated to have increased 8.7 percent (6.5 percent) to $19.51 billion.
- Giving to international affairs is estimated to have declined 4.4 percent (6.4 percent adjusted for inflation) to $22.97 billion.
- Giving to environment and animal organizations is estimated to have increased 7.2 percent (5.0 percent adjusted for inflation) to $11.83 billion.
In addition, giving to individuals, which is less than 2 percent of total giving, is estimated to have declined 20.7 percent (22.4 percent in inflation-adjusted dollars) in 2017, to $7.87 billion, primarily as a result of an unusually high increase in 2016. The bulk of these donations are in-kind gifts of medications to patients in need, made through the patient assistance programs of pharmaceutical companies’ operating foundations.
Unallocated giving was negative $2.24 billion in 2017. This amount can be considered the difference between giving by source and use in a particular year. It includes the difference between itemized deductions by individuals (and households) carried over from previous years. The tax year in which a gift is claimed by the donor (carried over) and the year when the recipient organization reports it as revenue (the year in which it is received) may be different.
NOTES TO EDITORS
Members of the media can request 40-year data tables that show sources of contributions by year in current and inflation-adjusted dollars, and allocation of gifts by type of recipient category, also in current and inflation-adjusted dollars. Data also are available showing total giving as a percentage of GDP, individual giving as a percentage of disposable income and corporate giving as a percentage of corporate pre-tax profits.
The requested citation for Giving USA is Giving USA 2018: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2017, a publication of Giving USA Foundation, 2018, researched and written by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. Available online at www.givingusa.org .
About Giving USA Foundation
Advancing the research, education and public understanding of philanthropy is the mission of Giving USA Foundation, founded in 1985 by The Giving Institute. Headquartered in Chicago, the Foundation publishes data and trends about charitable giving through its seminal publication, Giving USA, and quarterly reports on topics related to philanthropy. Published since 1956, Giving USA is the longest running, most comprehensive report on philanthropy in America. Read more about Giving USA Foundation’s history, as well as the history of Giving USA and philanthropy in the U.S. in the Giving USA 2015 Spotlight: Celebrating Service to Philanthropy (available as a free download).
About Giving USA
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 this annual report estimates all giving to charitable organizations across the United States. Giving USA is a public outreach initiative of Giving USA Foundation TM 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. Explore Giving USA products and resources, including free highlights of each annual report, at our online store .
About The Giving Institute
The Giving Institute, the parent organization of Giving USA Foundation TM , consists of member organizations that have embraced and embodied the core values of ethics, excellence and leadership in advancing philanthropy. Serving clients of every size and purpose, from local institutions to international organizations, The Giving Institute member organizations embrace the highest ethical standards and maintain a strict code of fair practices. For information on selecting fundraising counsel, visit www.givinginstitute.org .
How to Obtain Giving USA 2018
Giving USA 2018: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2017 will be available for download on June 12 at www.givingusa.org. A complimentary executive summary, Highlights, also will be available on that date.
Customers can select from a number of Giving USA 2018 products, including the full report, available in both digital and paperback formats; a PowerPoint slide deck; data tables; and the free Highlights executive summary.
Giving USA Foundation periodically publishes in-depth reports (Special Reports) on different aspects of charitable giving and fundraising trends. Visit www.givingusa.org for available topics; prices vary.
About the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy
The Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI is dedicated to improving philanthropy to improve the world by training and empowering students and professionals to be innovators and leaders who create positive and lasting change. The school offers a comprehensive approach to philanthropy through its academic, research, and international programs and through The Fund Raising School, Lake Institute on Faith & Giving and the Women’s Philanthropy Institute. For more information, visit philanthropy.iupui.edu .
Giving USA Methodology
Giving USA estimates primarily rely on econometric methods developed by leading researchers in philanthropy and the nonprofit sector and are reviewed and approved by members of the Giving USA Advisory Council on Methodology (ACM). Members of the ACM include research directors from national nonprofit organizations, as well as scholars from such disciplines as economics and public affairs, all of whom are involved in studying philanthropy and the nonprofit sector.
The Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy prepares all of the estimates in Giving USA for Giving USA Foundation. Giving USA develops estimates for giving by each type of donor (sources) and for recipient organizations categorized by subsectors (uses). Most of Giving USA’s annual estimates are based on econometric analyses and tabulations of tax data, economic indicators and demographics. Data for giving by foundations come from Foundation Center.
Following the same approach used by leading public and private institutions that develop economic statistics, Giving USA researchers update data found within Giving USA each year. This is because current Giving USA estimates are developed before final tax data, some economic indicators and some demographic data are available. The estimates are revised and updated as final versions of these data become available. Final estimates are usually developed two or three years after their initial release.
For more specific details on Giving USA’s methodology, please refer to the “Brief summary of methods” section within Giving USA 2018 or contact the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at [email protected] or 317-278-8972.
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