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Charitable Giving in the US: The Highest Level Since Great Recession

CHICAGO, IL (June 16, 2015) – In 2014, charitable giving in the U.S. reached a total of $358.38 billion – an increase of 7.1 percent in current dollars between 2013 and 2014, according to Giving USA 2015: The Annual Report on Philanthropy. This increase in total charitable giving exhibits the generosity of Americans and the hard work and commitment of dedicated philanthropists across the nation. It is a testament to our constantly evolving sector and a clear demonstration of the opportunities for growth.

“These are very positive results for giving in the USA. The total of $358.38 billion is 2.1% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which equals the highest water mark in the 60 year history of the research. In addition, it is easily the most growth we have seen in one year since the end of the great recession,” says Peter Fissinger, President & Chief Executive Officer of Campbell & Company, a national fundraising consulting and executive search firm for nonprofits. “Now we can build on this momentum by focusing on how donors impact the mission of the organizations we serve, communicating this to our donors and asking them to continue their generosity.”

Key Findings
  • Charitable giving in the U.S. has not only achieved its fifth year of consecutive growth, but it is also the highest-level reached since the Great Recession. Conclusively, the period of 2009 to 2014 is now considered the fastest-recovery period that has occurred in the last 40 years.

  • Giving by American individuals in 2014 grew by 5.7 percent between 2013 and 2014, which represents 72 percent of total charitable giving in 2014. Individual giving reached a total of $258.51 billion.


  • When looking at changes in giving by sector type of recipient organizations, the arts, culture, and humanities subsector achieved the largest increase, 9.2 percent, between 2013 and 2014. Subsequently, the environment/animals subsector was the second-largest change in increase, which grew by 7.0 percent between 2013 and 2014. Eight out of nine subsector recipient organizations increased, which includes religion, education, human services, foundations, health, public-society benefit, arts, culture, and humanities, and environmental and animal organizations. International affairs declined between 2013 and 2014 for the second consecutive year. The chart below represents changes in giving by type of recipient organization in 2012-2013, 2013-2014, and in 2012-2014.


  • Charitable contributions by individuals, bequest, and family foundations reached a total of 87 percent of total giving in 2014. Corporate giving amounted to 5 percent of total giving – also an increase of 13.7 percent between 2013 and 2014, which represents a significant change from its decline of 9.2 percent between 2012 and 2013. 

These key findings are intended to provide extensive insight and understanding in what motivates and drives charitable giving in the U.S. Our goal is to identify actionable insights and to help provide the resources that you need in order to launch your organization’s future success. We are hosting a series of events in local cities near you to further discuss recommendations and implementation strategies that explain how to best navigate the current landscape of philanthropy. We invite you to join us as we further discuss how to propel the philanthropic environment and harness the culture of giving back. To learn more about these events or to RSVP, visit this our Giving USA events page. 

Public release of the report throughout the U.S. was PUBLISH at 12:01 a.m. ET on Tuesday, June 16, 2015. If you want to purchase Giving USA products, please visit and use code 3015GI to receive 30% off.

Questions? Please visit We are happy to further discuss these findings with you. 

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CHICAGO, IL (June 16, 2015) – In 2014, charitable giving in the U.S. reached a total of $358.38 billion – an increase of 7.1 percent in current dollars between 2013...
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