American Giving Continues Slow, Consistent Recovery

Americans gave an estimated $316.23 billion to charitable causes in 2012, representing 3.5 percent growth (1.5 percent adjusted for inflation) from the previous year, according to Giving USA 2013: The Annual Report on Philanthropy. While this continues the trend of growth that we have observed since the recession, the current pace suggests that it could take another six to seven years for giving to return to pre-2008 levels. Because giving closely tracks the economy at large, key economic factors (personal income, personal consumption, employment levels and investment markets) could alter this pace and the overall level of giving further.

"Overall, growth in giving was restrained. But there are signs that individuals, the largest source of giving, are beginning to consider more asset-based giving. This development could be quite positive going forward," says Peter Fissinger, President & Chief Executive Officer of Campbell & Company, a national fundraising consulting and executive search firm. "By continuing to strategically build relationships with their best donors and prospects, nonprofits can help ensure their sustainability and growth in these challenging times."

Other key findings from Giving USA 2013 include:

Giving by Source

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  • Individual giving rose to $228.93 billion, a 3.9 percent increase (1.9 percent adjusted for inflation) over 2011. This figure may have been checked by economic uncertainty, which resulted from contrasting positive and negative indicators, including growth in the S&P 500, slightly higher home values, lower unemployment and reduced gas prices coupled with budget and tax reform debates.

  • Corporate giving, including cash gifts, in-kind contributions, and corporate foundation grants and gifts, rose to an estimated $18.15 billion, a 12.2 percent increase (9.9 percent adjusted for inflation) from 2011 levels. Significant in-kind gifts from major pharmaceutical companies drove an appreciable portion of this growth.

Giving by Sector

Giving by Sector

About Giving USA Foundation™

Giving USA is a public outreach initiative of Giving USA Foundation™, which was established by the Giving Institute to advance philanthropy through research and education. Headquartered in Chicago, the Foundation publishes data and trends about charitable giving through its seminal publication, Giving USA, which has documented who gives what to whom for more than 50 years, and quarterly newsletters on philanthropy-related topics. To learn more visit

How to obtain Giving USA 2013

Giving USA is the longest running and most comprehensive report on American philanthropy. A free executive summary of Giving USA 2013 can be downloaded online at Other products include the complete report; Giving USA Spotlight – quarterly research reports; and PowerPoint presentations for board meetings. Use the code CAMS1131 to receive 10% off any Giving USA products. 

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Campbell & Company is holding Giving USA programs in Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles, Silicon Valley, and Washington, DC, as well as a national webinar.

To learn more about our events, click here

Campbell & Company is a national consulting firm offering advancement planning, fundraising, communications and executive search services for nonprofit organizations in the education, health and medicine, arts and culture, environment, social service, and professional society fields.

Through thirty-seven years and thousands of engagements, Campbell & Company has helped nonprofit organizations anticipate and manage the challenges of the philanthropic marketplace. The company maintains offices in Chicago, Los Angeles, Portland, the San Francisco Bay Area and Washington, DC. For more information, please telephone (877) 957-0000 toll free, email or visit