Growth in Giving Continues, But More Slowly Than After Earlier Recessions

Sarah Barnes
Director of Marketing and Communications
(312) 896-8872 Direct; (312) 402-0969 Mobile

Chicago (June 19, 2012) – American philanthropic giving rose in 2011 to more than $298.4 billion, up from a revised estimate of $286.9 billion in 2010, reflecting similar gains across the economy, according to Giving USA 2012: The Annual Report on Philanthropy, released today by the Giving USA Foundation and its research partner, the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University. The 2011 estimate, detailed in Giving USA’s 57th consecutive annual report, represents growth of 4.0 percent in current dollars and 0.9 percent in inflation-adjusted dollars.

“The latest numbers indicate a slower rate of recovery in giving than in past recessions,” says Peter Fissinger, President & Chief Executive Officer of Campbell & Company, a national fundraising consulting and executive search firm for nonprofit organizations, and chair of the Giving USA Advisory Council on Methodology.  

“Nonprofits must take a deliberate, strategic approach to fundraising. Carefully building donor relationships will help organizations strengthen philanthropic revenue in the near term—and will pay even greater dividends in the future,” recommends Mr. Fissinger. 

Giving USA 2012 identified trends in giving from various types of donors, including:  

Giving USA 2011

Giving by Sector
  • Giving to international relief organizations increased by 7.6 percent in current dollars, the largest increase of any subsector, reflecting substantial growth in the number of organizations operating the sector (an 80 percent increase between 1999 and 2009). 

  • Giving to religious organizations declined 1.7 percent, the second consecutive loss in as many years. This trend likely results from a decrease in church membership and attendance.

Other Sectors
  • Arts: +4.1 percent
  • Education: +4.0 percent
  • Environment/Animals: +4.6 percent
  • Foundations: -6.1 percent
  • Health: +2.7 percent
  • Human Services: +2.5 percent
  • Public-society benefit: +4.0 percent

About Campbell & Company
Campbell & Company is a national consulting firm offering advancement planning, fundraising, marketing communications and executive search services to nonprofit organizations in nearly every sector. Through thirty-six years and more than a thousand engagements, we helped our clients anticipate and manage the challenges of the philanthropic marketplace. Our offices are located in Chicago, Boston, Portland, Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area and Washington, DC. For more information, please call toll-free (877) 957-0000, email or visit  

About Giving USA FoundationTM
Advancing the research, education and public understanding of philanthropy is the mission of Giving USA Foundation, founded in 1985 by the Giving Institute. Headquartered in Chicago, the Foundation publishes data and trends about charitable giving through its seminal publication, Giving USA, and quarterly reports on topics related to philanthropy. Visit for more information.  

About The Center on Philanthropy
The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University is a leading academic center dedicated to increasing the understanding of philanthropy and improving its practice worldwide through research, teaching, training and public affairs programs in philanthropy, fundraising and management of nonprofit organizations. For more information, visit  

About Giving USA Reports
Giving USA: The Annual Report on Philanthropy is published by Giving USA FoundationTM and is a public service initiative of the Giving Institute. Giving USA is the longest running, most comprehensive report on philanthropy in America. For more information, visit

Nonprofit Trends, Nonprofit News

Sarah Barnes

As an Online Fundraising Consultant, Sarah Barnes works with organizations to optimize their online presence through analyzing data that ultimately reveals strategies for the future. In her work with clients, Sarah most values opportunities to review and assess online data from multiple channels such as an organization’s website, social media channels and email marketing initiatives, to inform decisions, as well as working closely with organizations to brainstorm and identify and optimize strategic online fundraising initiatives.