National Philanthropic Trust "Charitable Giving Statistics"

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National Philanthropic Trust "Charitable Giving Statistics"

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

General Philanthropy

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

Individual and Family Philanthropy

  1. 86 percent of affluent households maintained or increased their giving despite uncertainty about further spread of COVID-193
  2. Adults are more likely to give to charity if their parents gave to charity.4

Charitable Organizations

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


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

Donor-Advised Funds

  1. There were 1,005,099 donor-advised fund accounts in 2020.8
  2. Donor-advised funds held $159.83 billion in assets in 2020.8
  3. Annual contributions into donor-advised funds were $47.85 billion in 2020.8
  4. Donors recommended grants from donor-advised funds totaled more than $34.67 billion to charities in 2020.8
  5. Average donor-advised fund account size was $159,019 in 2020.8 Sources

1 Giving USA 2021 Annual Report

2 Candid 2020 Annual Report

3 Affluent Americans Expand Generosity During the Pandemic

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

5 The Urban Institute | National Center for Charitable Statistics 2019

6 The Corporation for National and Community Service

7 Independent Sector

8 National Philanthropic Trust - Donor Advised Fund Report 2021