Amid a complex climate for charitable giving, American individuals, bequests, foundations and corporations gave an estimated $427.71 billion to U.S. charities in 2018, according to Giving USA 2019: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for theYear 2018.
Highlights from the Report
- Giving by foundations had a record-breaking year, reaching its highest-ever dollar amount even when adjusted for inflation, and growing to its largest share (18%) of total giving to date in 2018.
- Giving by individuals decreased as a percentage of total giving in 2018 to 68% (down from 70% in 2017), despite achieving its third-highest total dollar amount on record, adjusted for inflation.
- Giving by corporations experienced solid growth in 2018. This type of giving is highly responsive to changes in corporate pre-tax dollars and GDP, and its year-over-year trend lines tend to be more turbulent as a result.
- Giving by bequest did not keep pace with inflation.
- Charitable sectors saw uneven growth in 2018 in current dollars, with two categories of recipient organizations growing, three categories staying relatively flat, and four categories declining.
- Some of the categories of charitable organizations that had declines in 2018, including giving to education and giving to foundations, experienced strong growth in 2017, even when adjusted for inflation. It is not unusual for strong growth in giving one year to be followed by slower growth or a decline in the following year, especially in terms of inflation-adjusted dollars.
- Giving to the public-society benefit subsector decreased in 2018 after eight years of consecutive growth. Similarly, giving to religion declined in 2018 after six years of slow growth and one year of flat growth in inflation-adjusted dollars in 2017
- Giving to human services, health, and arts, culture and humanities organizations stayed relatively flat in 2018 in current dollars, and did not keep pace with inflation
- International affairs and environment and animal organizations were the two types of recipient organizations that experienced substantial growth in giving in 2018.