Cheat Sheet: Highlights of the Giving USA Report 2017!



Just in case you didn’t have a chance to read the full Giving USA Report… here is your cheat sheet highlighting the information you need to know!


Highlights of the Giving USA 2017 Report:

  • A total of $390.05 billion was donated to nonprofits in the United States in 2016 –  almost an $11 billion increase from 2015. This is also a good sign of the recovery and getting closer to the $344 billion raised in 2007 before the economy crashed, or inflation adjusted $355.17.
  • The largest component of charitable contributions is Individual Giving with an estimated $281.86 billion, or 72% of the total, in 2013.
  • Bequests was the only category to experience a decline at $30 billion in 2016, down from $31.76 billion in 2015. Not necessarily a sign of decline, since bequests tend to fluctuate from year to year, and are not as influenced by economic factors.
  • As a fundraiser, we need to take note that individuals will always be our best and biggest source for donations. This information should encourage us to start or continue building relationships with the individuals in your organization.
  • Not surprisingly, corporations have the lowest contribution overall – just 5%. Unlike individuals, corporations give to nonprofits to receive marketing benefits – both in visibility and positive exposure to the community.


Which nonprofits received the most donations in 2016?

  1. As it has been the case for 59 years, Religion received the largest share, with almost one-third (32%) of the total – an increase of 3% from the previous year.
  2. Education received the second-highest share, at 15% of the total, an increase of 3.6% from 2015.
  3. Human Services organizations include those responding to the economic crisis with emergency care and supplies is the third top recipient organization this year at 12%.
  4. Gifts to grantmaking private, community, and operating foundations are estimated to be the fourth highest ranking recipient category, with 10% of all charitable giving – up 3.1% from the previous year.
  5. Health Organizations received an estimated 8% of giving; up 5.7% from 2015.
  6. Public-Society stayed the same as the previous year with 8%.
  7. Arts organizations have ranked in 7th place for well over a decade at 5% of all charitable giving.
  8. International Affairs organizations rose this year to 6%.
  9. Environment/Animals were at 3%.

Blog credit: Dominique Langerman


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