Charitable Giving Grew to Record Levels in 2014

Americans were more generous than ever in 2014 according to the latest Giving USA report. Just released today, Giving USA: The Annual Report on Philanthropy is the longest running annual report on U.S. charitable giving and estimates sources of giving and amounts received by type of organization.

According to Giving USA, total giving in the U.S. reached $358.38 billion in 2014, a 7.1% increase in current dollars and a 5.4% increase in inflation-adjusted dollars. Approximately 72% of those donations came from individuals.

Established in 1956 by the American Association of Fundraising Counsel, now The Giving Institute is made possible by contributions from The Giving Institute member firms, foundations, and other donors. Giving USA is researched and written by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.

Here are a few key 2014 giving trends reflected in the annual report:

Overall Giving Trends

  • Giving by American individuals, estates, corporations, and foundations grew by 7.1% in 2014.
  • The total donated to charitable causes in 2014 was estimated to be estimated $358.38 billion.
  • Individual giving accounted for 72% of all charitable giving in 2014.
  • This is the fifth consecutive year of increases in giving, a period of growth that began in 2010.

Giving USASector Giving Trends

  • Giving to all sectors grew with the exception of International Affairs, down 2%
  • Giving to Arts, Culture, and Humanities grew the most in 2014, up 9.2%
  • Education institutions have grown the most since 2012, up 13.2%

Giving Source Trends

  • Giving by individuals was up 4% in 2014
  • Giving by foundations was up 6.5%
  • Bequests grew the most in 2014 with a 13.6% increase
  • Corporate giving went from a 10.6% decline in prior years to a 11.9% increase in 2014

Where Giving Goes

  • Religious organizations received the largest share of charitable dollars in 2014 at 32%
  • Educational institutions once again received the second-largest share at 15% of the total
  • Human services organizations are third at 12% followed by grantmaking foundations also with 12% of giving
  • All other sectors represent the remaining 29% of charitable giving