2016 Annual Giving USA Report Released

The latest view on not-for-profit accounting issues

The Giving USA Foundation (a public service initiative of The Giving Institute) has released their 2016 annual Giving USA Report on Philanthropy in collaboration with The Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. Using data from calendar year 2015, the Giving USA report compiles and analyzes data on charitable giving in the U.S in order to identify trends that can be useful to nonprofit organizations. The following is a summary of the sources of the $373.25 billion in charitable giving disclosed in the 2015 report:

(Numbers in billions of dollars and rounded)

  • $265.01 (71%) Individuals
  • $59.72 (16%) Foundations
  • $29.86 (9%) Bequests
  • $18.66 (5%) Corporations

Seventy-one percent of donations come from individual donors in 2015. This is a familiar statistic, as the giving from individual donors composed 72% in both 2014 and 2013. In fact, very little changed in the overall mix of donor sources from 2014 to 2015. Bequests increased from 8% to 9% of the total, and Foundations increased from 15% to 16%. Corporations remained consistent at 5%. Giving USA notes that the total increase in charitable giving was 4.1% from 2014 to 2015, and was primarily driven by an increase in donations by individuals. This translates to an increase of $80.8 billion, and builds on the increase of 7.1% from 2013 to 2014.

In addition to the breakdown of contribution sources, the Giving USA Report also highlighted some other interesting information:

  • Average annual donations made by U.S households reached $2,124 in 2015, in comparison to $2,030 in 2014. It is also estimated that giving by both itemizing and non-itemizing individuals increased by 4.1% and 2.5%, respectively.
  • The 3.9% increase in corporate giving is attributed to the 2015 increase in GDP and corporate pre-tax profits of 3.5% and 3.3%, respectively.
  • The nonprofit categories seeing the highest increases in giving are education, public-society benefit, environmental and animal, and international affairs organizations.
  • Total giving as a percentage of GDP during 2015 and 2014 reached a post-2006 high of 2.1%.

More information regarding the Giving Institute and the Giving USA report can be found here. A two page summary of the highlights from the full report can also be obtained at no cost on the Giving USA website.

By Paul Biggs