Charitable Giving Statistics

General Giving Statistics [ 1 ]

  • According to the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, 65% of American households give to charity.
  • Charitable giving in the United States reached $290.98 billion in 2010.
  • Individuals comprise the largest source of charitable giving in the United States.
  • In 2010, the majority of charitable dollars went to religion (35%), education (14%), grantmaking foundations (11%) and human services (9%)
  • Charitable giving accounted for 2% of gross domestic product in 2010.
  • There are approximately 1,280,739 charitable organizations in the United States, a 48% increase over the last 10 years.

High-Net Worth Giving Statistics [ 2 ]

  • 98.2% of High-Net Worth households give to charity.
  • The top four motivators for giving include: feeling moved by how a charitable gift makes a different (72%), feeling financially secure (71%), supporting the same causes (71%), wanting to give back to the community (65%).
  • HNW individuals have a lower risk-tolerance for in their philanthropic investments (26% not willing to take any risk) and their personal investments (10% not willing to take any risk)
  • HNW households are increasingly consulting professional advisors in their charitable giving decisions. Nearly 25% more HNW households consulted their accountant for charitable giving decisions in 2009 than in 2007; more than 10% more consulted their financial or wealth advisors in 2009 than in 2007. Nearly 95% of HNW households say that they initiated the conversation about charitable giving with their advisors.

Recommended Reading

Five Questions With Bryan Clontz - OnWallStreet, January 2012
If an advisor says, "If there were a way I could help you fund either charitable giving or legacy gifts for 10 cents, 30 cents or 50 cents on the dollar, is that something that you would be interested in?" In fact, asking those questions is what clients expect and value from financial advisors.

Give Like Mark ZuckerbergForbes, November 2011
These days you can convert everything from real estate to private company stock to hedge fund shares into a charitable kitty. Moreover, depending on what you give, to what kind of charity and how you time your donation, you may get a much more valuable tax break than if you'd just given cash.


[ 1 ] All General Giving Statistics from Giving USA 2011 Report unless otherwise noted.
[ 2 ] All HNW Giving Statistics from 2010 Bank of America Study of High Net Worth Philanthropy

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