Charitable Giving Statistics


Did you know that Americans are the most generous nation, or that the biggest share of donations comes from individual donors? We have the answers to these questions as well as all of the latest charitable giving statistics. With the rise of online platforms and mobile devices, charitable giving trends are shifting too. Scroll down to discover donor demographics, the most popular social media for fundraising, and more.

Charitable Giving Statistics (Editor’s Choice)

  • The American annual private philanthropy represents 1.44% of the country’s GDP.
  • 31% of global donors give money to foreign countries.
  • In 2019, individual donations in the US reached $309.66 billion.
  • Both men (52%) and women (54%) prefer to donate money using credit and debit cards.
  • The Silent Generation is the most generous.
  • The average online donation among Americans is $128.
  • GivingTuesday received $511 million in online and $1.46 billion in offline donations in 2019.
  • About 80% of all donations in the US come from individuals.

General Charity Statistics

1. Americans are by far the most generous nation.

The annual private philanthropy in the United States represents 1.44% of the country’s GDP. This is almost twice as high as the 0.77% recorded in Canada. Next on the list come the UK (0.54%), Korea (0.50%), Singapore (0.39%), and Italy (0.30%). China’s private philanthropy makes for only 0.03% of the country’s GDP. Australia, Japan, and Germany have annual private philanthropy levels of 0.23%, 0.12%, and 0.17%, respectively.

(Philanthropy Roundtable)

2. Over 50% of Brits have donated money to charities in the past 12 months.

UK donation statistics show that 60% of people living on the other side of the pond have donated money in the past year. The average monthly charity giving among the British is £45. It’s interesting to note that online charitable giving in the UK accounted for 19% of donation methods in 2019. In the UK, people donate the most money to medical research (25%) and animal welfare (26%). Religious organizations, however, get the most in contributions by monetary value.


3. About 84% of Canadians donate money to charities.

Annually, Canadians give about $10.6 billion to charities. The average annual contribution among Canadians is $446. Each person in Canada who donates money supports 3.8 charities and nonprofits on average, according to global charitable giving statistics. Compassion for those in need (89%) and helping a cause they believe in (85%) are the top reasons for charity giving.

(Sector Source)

4. Only 20% of donors are more likely to donate money if they get a free gift in return.

The other 80% of the participants said that a gift wouldn’t motivate them to donate money. For 66% of these people, a free gift is a waste of money. About 36% responded that they either don’t want or don’t need a gift in return for a donation. Only 6% mentioned the environmental impact of the gift as the reason why it wouldn’t change their stance on giving money, according to charity donation statistics.

(Giving USA)

5. More than two-thirds of donors prefer to be thanked for their contribution via email.

Approximately 69% of individuals that give money to charities say that an email is the best way for nonprofits to express gratitude. A printed letter and a text message come next on the list with 14% and 6%. Only 5%, 4%, and 2% of donors prefer to receive thanks via printed postcards, social media messages, and phone calls.

(Giving USA)

6. About one-third of people who donate to charity give tribute gifts.

Charity donation statistics show that 33% of donors worldwide say they give tribute gifts to friends and family. The three top occasions for tribute gifts are memorials (43%), birthdays (25%), and other significant events (24%). About 10% and 3% of the tribute gifts are given on religious holidays and weddings. New babies and graduations are also popular occasions for about 2% and 1% of those who give tribute gifts.

(Giving USA)

7. Nearly one-third of contributors worldwide give money to charities and nonprofits outside their country.

Approximately 31% of people donate to countries other than their own, as suggested by global donations statistics. The top five countries that receive money from foreigners are the United States (17%), Israel (8%), Canada (7%), Syria (5%), and India (4%). About 41% of these people said they donate money as a response to a natural disaster.

(Giving USA)

8. African donors prefer giving cash and over one-third give tribute gifts.

About 32% of people from Africa who donate want to do so using cash. Donating online, via mobile apps, and through bank transfers is popular among 25%, 15%, and 14%, respectively. About 27% of African donors are enrolled in a monthly giving program, and 38% give tribute gifts. Planned giving statistics reveal that only 14% of African contributors give to charity via their wills.

(Giving USA)

9. More than half of donors in Asia prefer to donate online.

About 51% of Asians who donate prefer online charitable giving via credit cards. About 41% of Asian donors partake in monthly programs, and 15% include donations in their testaments. Approximately 44% of Asian donors give money to foreign countries, while 34% donate to help natural disaster relief programs.

(Giving USA)

10. Less than 70% of all money raised goes to charity.

The percentage of donations that actually go to charity is about 67, according to fundraiser statistics from 2017. This figure shows a slight improvement in charity percentage of donation compared to 2015 when 65% went to charity and the rest to fundraising costs. 


US Charity Giving 

11. Nearly one-third of annual giving in the US arrives in December.

About 30% of all annual donations in America come in December, according to charitable giving by month insights. Approximately 10% of all donations take place on the last three days of the year, right before New Year’s Eve. US charitable giving statistics further show that 64% of all donations come from women, while 77% of Americans believe charity can make a difference. Almost 70% (69%) of the US population donates money.

(Nonprofits Source)

12. Over 90% of high-income families give to charities.

About 91% of wealthy households donate money. Their average annual donation moves around $25,509, much higher than the general average of $2,520. Giving to charities, however, earns households tax deductions of up to 50% of their adjusted gross income, as indicated by United States charity statistics. 

(Nonprofits Source)

13. Almost 40% of all charitable donations go to religion.

Church giving statistics show that a total of 39% of all donations go for religious causes, with 80% of those donations coming from individuals. Education and human services are two popular causes among Americans who donate money, with 19 and 15 in charity donation percentage, respectively. The list is rounded up with health (11%), overseas assistance (7%), arts (6%), and nature (4%).

(Philanthropy Roundtable)

14. In 2019, Americans donated $128.17 billion for religion.

While this amount noted a 2.3% increase compared to the contributions collected in 2018, it was still the highest among all types of donations in 2019. Between 2018 and 2019, charity donation statistics reveal the following causes recorded the highest YoY growth: public-society benefit organizations (13.1% increase to $37.16 billion), arts, culture, and humanities (12.6% increase to $21.64 billion), education (12.1% increase to $64.11 billion), and environment and animal organizations (11.3% increase to $14.16 billion). The only cause that didn’t record an increase in donation between 2018 and 2019 was international affairs (0.4% decline to $28.89 billion).

(Giving USA)

15. Individual contributions represent the largest share of charity donations in America.

About 80% of all donations come from individuals, per the latest charitable giving statistics. Among that individual charity donation percentage, 71% come from living people, and 9% from wills. Foundations represent the second-highest donor with contributions of 15%. Finally, the remaining 5% comes from corporations.

(Philanthropy Roundtable)

16. In 2019, individuals donated $309.66 billion.

This figure is 4.7% higher compared to the total individual contributions collected in 2018. Giving by bequest remained relatively flat at $43.21 billion (0.2% You increase). Giving by foundations increased 2.5% to $75.69 billion in 2019, reaching its historical peak. At 13.4%, giving by corporations recorded the highest 2018-2019 YoY increase, totaling $21.09 billion.

(Giving USA)

17. Even with all-time high donations, public charities make the most money from charging fees.

Nonprofit fundraising statistics show that public charities organize events, sell used clothes, provide expertise, and more. All these services earn them 72% of their total revenue. Private contributions, in contrast, represent only about 13%. The other two income sources for public charities in America are endowment investments (7%) and government grants (8%).

(Philanthropy Roundtable)

18. Americans don’t donate money only, but also their time and effort.

About 25% of all American adults volunteer. The annual number of volunteers in the United States is 63 million. The average yearly time invested per volunteer is 139 hours. The total number of hours US volunteers invest a year is about 8.7 billion, per the American philanthropy statistics.

(Philanthropy Roundtable)

19. Americans who make the most money also donate the most money to charity causes.

Charitable giving by income group figures show that households that earn over $162,000 give, on average, $5,805. This amount represents about 2% of their income. Around 93% of these families donate money to charities. As the yearly income of a household drops, the percentage they contribute grows. So, families making under $25,000 give about 12% of their income to charities. Their average donation is $934, but only 37% of these households donate money.

(Philanthropy Roundtable)

20. Americans living in Utah donate the largest percentage of their income.

People from this state donate, on average, 6.6% of their annual income, donation trends show. The top five list is rounded up with Mississippi (5.0%), Alabama (4.9%), Tennessee (4.5%), and Georgia (4.3%). At the other end of the spectrum is New Hampshire, whose families give only 1.7% of their income. Families from Maine, Vermont, and New Jersey are also at the bottom giving only 2.0% of their annual earnings.

(Philanthropy Roundtable)

21. Independent foundations are the largest charity givers.

Such foundations contribute $37.1 billion towards all foundation donations. The three other types together don’t come even close. Namely, operating and corporate foundations give $7.5 billion and $5.4 billion, respectively, as evidenced by corporate giving statistics. Finally, we have community foundations, whose contribution stands at a modest $5.3 billion.

(Philanthropy Roundtable)

22. More than half of the US overseas assistance comes from private donations.

Private donations contribute $43.9 billion of the total US overseas assistance. These funds come from charities (35%), corporations (26%), religious groups (26%), foundations (11%), volunteers (10%), and colleges (5%). Government overseas aid programs, by contrast, contribute $33.1 billion.

(Philanthropy Roundtable)

23. Almost 30% of American schools earn over $75,000 a year from fundraising.

The average annual fundraising income for most schools (35%), however, is between $0 and $5,000. School fundraising statistics show that school groups manage to raise over $1.5 billion each year by selling products. About 71% of parents claimed to get involved in such fundraising quests by selling products to family, friends, and colleagues.

(Nonprofits Source)

24. Christian church giving now is lower than it used to be during the Great Depression.

If Americans donated 3.3% of their income at the time, these days they donate only 2.5%. Only 5% of Christians tithe and, among them, the majority (80%) donate about 2% of their earnings. 

(Nonprofits Source)

Donor-Advised Fund Charitable Giving

25. The average size of DAF accounts was $162,556 in 2019.

This figure notes a 2.7 percent decrease compared to the one of 2018 ($167,002). The other aspects, according to fundraising and charity statistics, note positive changes. For instance, the total number of total DAF accounts jumped by 19.4% to 873,228. Charitable assets meanwhile increased by 16.2% to $141.95 billion, and the total contributions jumped by 7.5% to $38.81 billion.

(NP Trust)

26. The total value of contributions towards DAFs has been steadily increasing.

Back in 2015, the total DAFs donations were only $21.48 billion. Over the years, this amount has almost doubled. In 2016, 2017, and 2018, the respective total contributions were $25.10 billion, $30.84 billion, and $36.10 billion. The latest charitable contributions statistics note that this amount reached $38.91 billion in 2019, a YoY growth of 7.5%.

(NP Trust)

27. The number of DAF accounts at National Charities is 5X higher than the one of  Community Foundations and Single-Issue Charities combined.

In 2019, National Charities had a combined estimate of 731,110 DAF accounts (22.9% YoY growth) with total charitable assets of $87.23 billion (20.2% You growth). Community Foundations have 83,185 DAF accounts (3.6% YoY increase) with charitable assets totaling $40.22 billion (11% YoY increase). Finally, Single-Issue Charities hold 58,933 DAF accounts (4.8% YoY growth) with charitable assets totaling $14.50 billion (8.4% YoY growth).

(NP Trust)

Online Fundraisings Statistics

28. Environmental and rights nonprofits saw the highest growth in online donations.

Online charity has been on the rise, and its revenue jumped by 23% in 2017. Every sector noted significant improvements, but the biggest progress of 34% and 37% was seen among environmental and rights nonprofits.

(Nonprofits Source)

29. Total online donation revenue has been continually growing.

In 2017, Americans used the Internet to donate about $31 billion to charities and nonprofits. This amount has been growing year over year even since 2012. Back then, the total online charitable giving was $19.2 billion, according to fundraising statistics.

(Nonprofits Source)

30. The average online donation is just under $130.

Online donors in the United States give an average donation of $128. Recurring online donors tend to give more to charities and nonprofits. Their average annual donation is $326. More than half (54%) of donors prefer online contributions via credit or debit card. PayPal, mobile apps, and text messages are the top choice for 9%, 4%, and 1% of donors worldwide, according to online giving statistics. Also, 51% of wealthy individuals who give to charity prefer to donate money online. So, it’s not surprising that 67% of nonprofits worldwide accept online charitable giving.

(Nonprofits Source)

31. Nonprofits received, on average, $42 per 1,000 fundraising emails sent.

Email marketing is one of the ways charities and nonprofits reach donors. The latest nonprofit statistics show that small nonprofits with less than 100,000 subscribers get on average $71 per 1,000 emails sent. Medium and large nonprofits with 100,000-500,000 and over 500,000 subscribers generate fewer funds. Their respective averages per 1,000 emails sent are $36 and $32.

(Nonprofits Source)

32. GivingTuesday remains a popular global event, both offline and online.

Fundraiser statistics show that in 2019, GivingTuesday collected $511 million in online and $1.46 billion in offline donations. In the same year, there were over 400 community campaigns in 60 countries. GivingTuesday is especially popular in the United States, where the number of community campaigns jumped by 57%. In 2018, there were 127 campaigns, while in 2019 the number surpassed 200.


33. Facebook is the top social medium for inspiring charity giving.

About 56% of donors worldwide said that Facebook inspired them to donate money. In fact, statistics on charitable giving show about 18% of global donors have used Facebook Fundraising Tools to donate money. Instagram and Twitter come next in terms of influence with 20% and 13% naming them as inspiration for donating money. All the other social media have significantly less influence. Here we have YouTube (6%), LinkedIn (4%), WhatsApp (2%), and Pinterest (0.3%).

(Giving USA)

American Charitable Giving by Demographics

34. Millennials contribute to 11% of all US donations.

About 40% of individuals from this generation participate in one or more monthly giving programs. Per the latest charity stats, almost half of them (46%) donate money through crowdfunding platforms. As for giving to charity, 84% of Millennials claim to do so. They usually contribute to an average of 3.3 charity organizations, and their average donation to charity is about $481. Almost half of Millennials (47%) donate money through websites, highlighting the gradual shift towards online donating.

(Nonprofits Source)

35. Almost 50% of Gen X Americans participate in monthly giving programs.

A total of 49% of people from this generation give money through such programs, while 31% provide tribute gifts. Philanthropy statistics show that 45% of Gen Xers donate through crowdfunding campaigns, while 19% donate money via Facebook. Generation X Americans often use social media and, therefore, about 59% were inspired to give money through social networks.

(Nonprofits Source)

36. 72% of Baby Boomers in America give money to charity.

This generation beats all the rest, except for the Silent Generation when it comes to donation numbers. The average annual donation among Baby Boomers is $1,212. They give money to about 4.5 organizations, as per charitable giving statistics by age group. About 49% of people from this generation donate through monthly giving programs, while 35% give through crowdfunding. About 21% of Baby Boomers use Facebook tools to donate money to charity, and 58% of them go to fundraising events. 

(Nonprofits Source)

37. Statistics on charitable giving demographics show that Americans from the Silent Generation give money to charity more often than any other generation.

About 30% of Americans over 75 have donated money online in the past year. Plus, the trends in charitable giving show that people from this generation give on average 25% more often than the rest. Donations from the Silent Generation make up 26% of all contributions. Silent Generation Americans also tend to give to more charities (6.2 organizations) and more money per year ($1,365).

(Nonprofits Source)

38. Millennials have donated the most since the COVID-19 outbreak.

Nearly 3 out of 4 Millennials have sent some kind of financial aid to family or friends or donated to a nonprofit since the COVID pandemic began. This is followed by Gen Zers and Gen Xers, with 66% and 63% of each claiming to have done the same. 54% of Baby Boomers further say they’ve sent financial aid at least once since the start of the COVID pandemic.


39. Women prefer to donate money online using credit and debit cards.

Online charitable giving via credit and debit cards is the most popular choice among females (54%). Respective 11%, 11%, and 10% of women donors said they prefer giving via direct mail, bank transfer, and cash. Social media inspires most women (32%) to donate money to various causes, according to Giving USA’s donation trends. About 45% of female donors are enrolled in monthly giving programs, while 59% attend fundraising events.

(Giving USA)

40. Male charity givers are the most inspired to donate by emails.

Men also prefer to give money online and use their credit or debit cards (52%). Cash, bank transfer, and direct mail were the best options for 12%, 10%, and 10% of all male donors, respectively. As for what inspires them the most to give money to charity, 30% said emails. Social media, websites, and direct mail were impactful for 25, 19%, and 13% of the participants. Online fundraising statistics further show about 46% of men who donate money are enrolled in a monthly giving program, and 50% attend fundraising events.

(Giving USA)

41. Christian donors contribute more to monthly giving programs than Buddhist and Hindu donors.

Charitable giving by denomination numbers show that about 45% of Christians are enrolled in a monthly giving program. Only 39% of Buddhists and 36% of Hindus, in contrast, are enrolled in such programs. Fundraising events attract about 62% of Christian donors, while they’re not as attractive among Buddhists (29%) and Hindus (36%). As for the favorite donating method, Buddhists prefer bank transfer, Christians direct mail, and Hindus cash, per the charity giving statistics.

Focusing on Jewish and Muslim donors, 50% and 45%, respectively, are enrolled in monthly giving programs. Contributors from both religions (53% and 35%) prefer to donate online via credit and debit cards. Almost half of the donors from these religious groups (50% and 52%) attend fundraising events, charitable giving by religion trends show.

(Giving USA)

Final Words

Charity trends are slowly changing. While individuals remain the prominent donors, the causes for giving and ways of donating are shifting. Religion is still the number one cause for donating, but the environment and human rights have noted strong growth too. The latest charitable giving statistics further show that more donors turn to online giving. Also, social media and especially Facebook, establish as a great way to reach new contributors and raise more money.

References: Philanthropy Roundtable, NPT UK, Sector Source, Giving USA, lohud, Nonprofits Source, Philanthropy Roundtable, Giving USA, NP Trust, GivingTuesday, Nonprofits Source, CNBC

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