Giving USA 2019: A Volatile Year for Philanthropy

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Today marks the 2019 release of Giving USA: The Annual Report on Philanthropy©, the longest running, most comprehensive report on philanthropy in America. It reports a volatile year for philanthropy. Estimated giving rose just 0.7% over 2017 to $427.71 billion in 2018 contributions.

So what happened in 2018? Well, it’s complicated. Individual giving was down 1.1% and four sectors saw declines. The economy was strong but a changing policy environment stalled giving from individuals, influenced by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The stock market plunged in the final two weeks of 2018 right during prime giving season. Yet, over two years ( 2016 to 2018), giving grew a total of 8% and every recipient sector and source realized a cumulative increase.

To provide additional perspective, our seventh annual Bene Graphic portrays this volatile year as a series of science experiments. Download your digital copy or request it to be mailed to you free of charge via the form below.


Sources

Blackbaud Institute. 2019. “Charitable Giving Report: How Fundraising Performed In 2018”. Blackbaud Institute. https://institute.blackbaud.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/2018CharitableGivingReport.pdf.

“Giving USA | A Public Service Initiative of The Giving Institute”. 2019. https://givingusa.org.

Joslyn, Heather. 2019. “Campaigns Get Bigger and Bolder”. The Chronicle of Philanthropy. https://www.philanthropy.com/article/Campaigns-Get-Bigger-and/246016/.

Lindsay, Drew. 2018. “Who’s Raising the Most: The 100 Charities That Drew the Most in Private Donations”. The Chronicle of Philanthropy. https://www.philanthropy.com/article/Who-s-Raising-the-Most-The/244933.

McKeever, Brice. 2019. “The Nonprofit Sector in Brief | National Center for Charitable Statistics”. Nccs.Urban.Org. https://nccs.urban.org/project/nonprofit-sector-brief.

M+R. 2019. “2019 M+R Benchmarks Study”. M+R. https://mrbenchmarks.com/words/evolve-or-die.

Osili, Una, Mark Ottoni-Wilhelm, and Xiao Han. 2015. “Philanthropy Panel Study”. Ann Arbor: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research. https://doi.org/10.3886/E101264V1.

—. 2013. “Philanthropy Panel Study”. Ann Arbor: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research. https://doi.org/10.3886/E101148V2.

Ottoni-Wilhelm, Mark. 2001- 2011. “Philanthropy, 2001-2011”. Ann Arbor: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research. https://doi.org/10.3886/E100915V5.

U.S. Trust Bank of America, and Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. 2019. “2018 U.S Trust Study of High Net Worth Philanthropy”. U.S. Trust Bank of America. https://ustrustaem.fs.ml.com/content/dam/ust/articles/pdf/2018-HNW-Philanthropy-Study-Full-Report.pdf.