Charitable Giving Grew to Record Levels in 2014 | npENGAGE

Charitable Giving Grew to Record Levels in 2014

By on Jun 16, 2015


Giving USA

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

To get the complete Giving USA 2015 report please visit:


Steve MacLaughlin is the Vice President of Data & Analytics at Blackbaud and bestselling author of Data Driven Nonprofits.

MacLaughlin has been featured as a fundraising and nonprofit expert in many mainstream publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, USA Today, The NonProfit Times, Stanford Social Innovation Review, Bloomberg, and has appeared on NPR.

He is a frequent speaker at events including the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP), American Marketing Association (AMA), Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), Direct Marketing Fundraisers Association (DMFA), Giving Institute Summer Symposium, National Association of Independent School (NAIS), Nonprofit Technology Conference (NTC), Institute of Fundraising National Convention (United Kingdom), Civil Society Conference (Netherlands), International Fundraising Congress (Netherlands), Ask Direct Fundraising Summer School (Ireland), and a keynote speaker at several conferences across the social good sector.

Steve previously served on the Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN) Board of Directors and is currently an adjunct faculty member at Columbia University.

He is a frequent blogger, published author of a chapter in the book People to People Fundraising: Social Networking and Web 2.0 for Charities, and is a co-editor of the book Internet Management for Nonprofits: Strategies, Tools & Trade Secrets. His latest book, Data Driven Nonprofits, became a bestseller in 2016.

Steve earned both his undergraduate degree and a Master of Science degree in Interactive Media from Indiana University.

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