Charitable giving in 2019 rose to $449.64 Billion
Charitable giving in 2019 showed solid growth, climbing to
The Giving USA report shows strength of Americans’ charitable support
in 2019 and provides baseline, context for 2020s
uncertain philanthropic environment
American individuals, bequests, foundations and corporations gave an estimated $449.64 billion to U.S. charities in 2019, placing it among the highest years ever for charitable giving, according to findings in Giving USA 2020: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2019, released 16 June 2020.
Total charitable giving rose 4.2% measured in current dollars (2.4% adjusted for inflation) over the revised total of $431.43 billion contributed in 2018. Measured in current dollars, giving in 2019 reached the highest dollar total to date. Adjusted for inflation, total giving reached the second highest level on record, just slightly below the all-time high dollar amount achieved in 2017.
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.
Highlights and Numbers for 2019 Charitable Giving by Source
↑ Giving by individuals totaled an estimated $309.66 billion, rising 4.7% in 2019 (an increase of 2.8%, adjusted for inflation). Giving by individuals achieved the second-highest total dollar amount on record, adjusted for inflation, and was less than 70% of total giving for only the second time ever.
↑ Giving by foundations increased 2.5%, to an estimated $75.69 billion in 2019 (a flat growth rate of 0.7%, adjusted for inflation), reaching its highest-ever dollar amount. Giving by foundations has grown in nine of the last 10 years, and represented 17% of total giving for the second year in a row, the largest share on record. Data on giving by foundations are provided by Candid.
= Giving by bequest was an estimated $43.21 billion in 2019, and was essentially flat with a growth rate of 0.2% from 2018 (a decline of 1.6%, adjusted for inflation). Giving by bequest often fluctuates substantially from year to year.
↑ Giving by corporations is estimated to have increased by 13.4% in 2019, totaling $21.09 billion (an increase of 11.4%, adjusted for inflation). This significant growth is indicative of this type of giving, which is highly responsive to changes in corporate pre-tax profits and GDP, and its year-over-year trend lines tend to be more turbulent as a result.
Highlights and Numbers for 2019 Charitable Giving to Recipients
↑ Giving to religion increased 2.3% between 2018 and 2019, with an estimated $128.17 billion in contributions. Adjusted for inflation, giving to religion was essentially flat, increasing 0.5% in 2019.
↑ Giving to education is estimated to have increased 12.1%, to $64.11 billion. Adjusted for inflation, giving to education organizations increased 10.1%.
↑ Giving to human services increased by an estimated 5.0% in 2019, totaling $55.99 billion. Adjusted for inflation, giving to human services organizations increased by 3.1%.
↑ Giving to foundations is estimated to have increased by 2.5% in 2019, to $53.51 billion. Adjusted for inflation, giving to foundations was essentially flat, increasing 0.6%.
↑ Giving to health organizations is estimated to have increased by 6.8% to $41.46 billion, an increase of 4.9%, adjusted for inflation.
↑ Giving to public-society benefit organizations (including Donor Advised Funds) increased an estimated 13.1%, to $37.16 billion. Adjusted for inflation, giving to public-society benefit organizations grew 11.1%.
= Giving to international affairs is estimated to be $28.89 billion in 2019, staying relatively flat compared to 2018 with a decline of 0.4%. Adjusted for inflation, giving to international affairs organizations declined 2.2%, after two strong years of growth.
↑ Giving to arts, culture, and humanities is estimated to have increased 12.6% to $21.64 billion. Adjusted for inflation, giving to the arts, culture, and humanities subsector increased 10.6%.
↑ Giving to environment and animal organizations is estimated to have increased 11.3%, to $14.16 billion. Adjusted for inflation, giving to the environment/animals subsector increased 9.4% percent. This marks the category’s sixth consecutive year of growth.
“Giving to education, to arts, culture and humanities organizations, to public-society benefit organizations, and environment and animal organizations all saw double-digit growth in 2019, even when adjusted for inflation,” said Patrick M. Rooney, Ph.D., executive associate dean for academic programs at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. “The 2019 results for recipient organizations are in line with the trends we have seen over time. Generally speaking, when there is broad-based economic growth, it is reflected in increased giving to all of the various subsectors; however, giving to religion is usually the least affected by economic shifts.”
How to Obtain Giving USA 2020
Key findings, data tables and more from Giving USA 2020: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2019 are available for download at www.givingusa.org.
Customers can select from a number of Giving USA 2020 products, including the full report, available in paperback or digital download packages; a condensed version of the report called Key Findings; a comprehensive presentation PowerPoint slide deck with talking points; data tables; and the free Infographic.
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.