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2016 Charitable Giving By the Numbers: Another Record High

Giving USA recently released its Annual Report on Philanthropy, and the numbers look promising with regard to fundraising from individual donors.

Of the estimated $390.05 billion contributed to U.S. charities in 2016, donations from individuals rose 4% over the previous year. This overall giving figure represents a 2.7% increase versus $379.89 billion in 2015.

Researched and written by the IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, Giving USA is the longest-running report of its kind.

The report looks at donations to nine major types of organizations from four donation sources: individuals, foundations, estates, and corporations. For just the sixth time in 40 years, giving to all nine categories increased.

Individual donors showed the highest increase (3.9%) and represented 72% of all donations, for a total of $281.86 billion. This lends credence to the idea that micro-donations are a growing source of charitable gifts.

2016 Charitable Giving By the Numbers: Another Record High

“This report tells us that Americans remained generous in 2016, despite it being a year punctuated by economic and political uncertainty,” said Aggie Sweeney, CFRE, chair of Giving USA Foundation and senior counsel at Campbell & Company. “We saw growth in every major sector, indicating the resilience of philanthropy and diverse motivations of donors.

Giving to religion and faith-based organizations totaled $122.94 billion, an increase of 3%. Faith-based giving accounts for the majority of overall donations (32%).

Giving USA 2017: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2016, is a publication of Giving USA Foundation, 2017, researched and written by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. Available online at

About the Author

Matt is dedicated to making the world a better place. He works passionately to help charitable causes use mobile technology to raise the funds they need. In addition to his role at Givelify, he volunteers with the Southside Animal Shelter and Kentuckiana Pug Rescue.

Matt Chandler