Key Findings from Giving USA 2013 Report

June 18, 2013 Steve MacLaughlin

Giving USA: The Annual Report on Philanthropy is the longest running, annual report on U.S. charitable giving and estimates sources of giving and amounts received by type of organization. Giving USA is published by the Giving USA Foundation.

Established in 1956 by the American Association of Fundraising Counsel, now The Giving Institute and is made possible by contributions from The Giving Institute member firms, foundations, and other donors. Giving USA is researched and written by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy

Overall Giving Trends
- Giving by American individuals, estates, corporations, and foundations grew by 3.5% in 2012.
- The total donated to charitable causes in 2012 was estimated to be estimated $316.23 billion.
- The single largest contributor to increases in total charitable giving in 2012 was an increase of $8.67 billion in giving by individuals.
- This is the third consecutive year of increases in giving, a period of growth that began in 2010.
- Overall giving has not yet returned to pre-recession levels achieved in 2007.

Sector Giving Trends
Most sectors saw their share of total giving remain the same: Education, foundations, human services, health, public-society benefit, international, and environment. Arts, culture, and humanities saw its share of the total increase by one percentage point, from 4% in 2011 to 5% in 2012. Religion saw its share of the total decline by one percent, from 33% in 2011 to 32% in 2012.

Individual Giving
Between the years 1973 and 1992, total giving by individuals comprised between 80% and 83% of the total. However, in the last 5 years, between 2008 and 2012, giving by individuals averaged just 72% of the total. At the same time over the course of the last 40 years, giving by foundations has increased, from between 6% and 7% of the total in the years 1973 to 1992, to 14% of the total in the last five years (2008-2012). Giving USA believes the primary reason for the shift in giving by individuals to giving by foundations is the growth in giving by family foundations.

Disaster Giving
In 2012, it is estimated that corporations gave $131 million to support Hurricane Sandy relief efforts, and that individuals gave $236 million. Giving USA estimates $54 million in contributions to public-society benefit organizations and $223 million given to human services organizations to support Hurricane Sandy relief efforts in 2012.

The Road Ahead
If total giving continues to grow at the current inflation-adjusted rate, averaging the last two years, it will take 6 to 7 more years to reach that pre-recession level from 2012.

Learn More
Gregg Carlson, chair of the Giving USA Foundation board of directors makes a guest appearance on npVOICES. Gregg discusses some of the findings, trends, and what it means for the nonprofit sector. Give it a listen:

The get the complete Giving USA 2013 report please visit:

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