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

Charitable Gifts of Noncash Assets - by Bryan Clontz and Ryan Raffin
This book is intended for several audiences: 1. Front line advisors: financial, tax and legal advisors who have clients whose assets go well beyond cash and public securities. 2. Nonprofit gift planners: fundraisers in major gifts, planned gifts, and principal gifts whose donors wish to give assets other than cash. 3. Technical experts: Lawyers, accountants, and back office staff at charities and financial institutions charged with determining how an asset may be used for a philanthropic purpose, or determining whether that asset should be accepted as a gift..


[ 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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