Charitable Giving Statistics: What Insights Can They Provide?
As with any business, your nonprofit will likely experience periods of slow or nonexistent growth. You may even be struggling with lower-than-average giving right now. Unfortunately, a decline in donations doesn’t just affect your team—it also affects those you’re trying to help.
Without sufficient funding, it becomes harder and harder to continue your nonprofit’s mission. And if you don’t take steps to address the underlying issue, you may never see that mission fulfilled…
However, before you get too discouraged, there is hope of turning things around. And it all starts by examining the facts and figures—specifically, charitable giving statistics over the past few years.
The Value of Reviewing Charitable Giving Statistics
Understanding donor behavior is key to bringing in more funds for your cause. That’s why nonprofit organizations like yours are strongly encouraged to do some in-depth research.
In addition to taking the time to create a customer avatar (or donor avatar) for your organization, it’s in your best interest to review charitable giving statistics for the nonprofit sector as a whole.
Because doing so provides you with a broader, more accurate picture of the public’s propensity to give. Armed with such knowledge, you can then adjust your approach to get in front of those who are likely to donate, recruiting more supporters for your cause.
Ultimately, charitable giving statistics can give you some much-needed insight into…
- Who donates
- How much they donate
- Why they donate
- How they donate
- What causes they support
…which will serve to strengthen your efforts to grow your organization’s donor base.
Charitable Giving Statistics for 2017-2018
Since reviewing charitable giving statistics can be a little overwhelming, the most recent data available has been condensed and put into the following categories:
- Donation Amounts & Sources
- Charitable Giving Demographics
- Popular Causes Supported
- General Charitable Giving Statistics
Donation Amounts & Sources
According to Giving USA 2019: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2018, approximately $427.71 billion was given to U.S. charities in the year 2018.
Let’s look at how this number breaks down by source…
- Individual giving totaled an estimated $292.09 billion in 2018. Adjusting for inflation, this was a 3.4% decrease, likely the result of the increased standard tax deduction.
- Planning giving (by bequest) accounted for an estimated $39.71 billion in 2018. Adjusting for inflation, this was a 2.3% decrease.
- Foundation giving made up an estimated $75.86 billion in 2018. Adjusting for inflation, this was a 4.7% increase.
- Corporate giving amounted to an estimated $20.05 billion in 2018. Adjusting for inflation, this was a 2.9% increase.
Charitable Giving Demographics
Data compiled by Nonprofits Source in 2017 demonstrated how giving varies by age group.
- Roughly 84% of millennials reported giving to charity. Of those donors, 40% were enrolled in a monthly giving program.
- Approximately 49% of Gen X donors were enrolled in a monthly giving program. Additionally, 45% donated to crowdfunding campaigns.
- A total of 49% of baby boomers were enrolled in a monthly giving program. Of those in this age group, 72% reported giving to charity, donating an average of $1,212 each year.
- Those in the WWII generation made up 26% of total U.S. giving. Approximately 88% of those in this age bracket gave to charity, donating an average of $1,367 each year.
The 2018 U.S. Trust® Study of High Net Worth Philanthropy also provided some charitable giving statistics for those with an annual household income greater than $200,000.
- Of those in this group, 90% gave to charity.
- On average, high-net-worth donors gave $29,269 to charity in 2017. In comparison, households in the general population gave an average of $2,514.
Popular Causes Supported
Based on charitable giving statistics curated by NPT, the majority of charitable dollars donated in 2018 went to religion (29%), education (14%), human services (12%), grant-making foundations (12%), and health (9%).
General U.S. Charitable Giving Statistics
According to the 2018 Global Trends in Giving Report…
- Approximately 69% of donors across the globe stated that they preferred to be thanked for their donations by email.
- Of donors worldwide, 92% said it was important for organizations to keep donor information safe and secure.
- Roughly 68% of donors worldwide claimed trusting organizations with a .org domain extension more than those without.
- Of female donors across the globe, 45% stated they were enrolled in a monthly giving program; of male donors, 46% stated they were enrolled in a monthly giving program.
- A total of 54% of donors worldwide reported to prefer giving online with a credit or debit card.
How to Glean Insights from Charitable Giving Statistics to Help Your Nonprofit
By now you may be thinking, “This is all very interesting, but how can these charitable giving statistics help my nonprofit? What can I get out of these numbers and percentages?”
Glad you asked.
As mentioned previously, reviewing these statistics helps you see the bigger picture. It allows you to see what age groups donate the most, what causes are viewed as the most important, what method donors like to use to donate, how they prefer to be thanked, and so on.
It also forces you to take a closer look at what your organization is doing to bring in donations and what you could be doing better.
Here’s the thing…
As the leader of your nonprofit, you know how important it is to make the most of your budget. You have limited resources available to promote your organization, and you need to make every dollar count.
When you have data and research on your side, you can make more informed decisions and reduce the amount you spend on ineffective marketing. With the information above, you can then adjust your approach so your organization becomes more appealing to potential donors.
In short, looking over charitable giving statistics and conducting your own research in-house can have a huge impact on your organization’s success. Putting in the time and effort ensures that you’re on the right path toward fulfilling your mission.
If you want to grow your donor base and increase funding for your cause, it’s important to pay attention to charitable giving statistics as a whole. When you’re able to get a broad view, it’s much easier to note trends that have an impact on funding for your organization.
It can also show you if giving is down across the board or just for your organization…
However, even if you gather information about current donors and review charitable giving statistics, you may struggle with the next step—using that data to your advantage. In that case, it helps to have a marketing team on your side that knows how to analyze data, interpret it correctly, and apply the findings.
And it just so happens that’s what the experts at Viral Solutions do best.
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