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Giving USA’s 2019 report on philanthropy is out now. What have we learned?

Overall, giving was solid in 2019, reaching the highest level ever in current dollars, and the second highest level (behind 2017) when adjusted for inflation. Total giving reached $449.64 billion in 2019, which represents an increase of 4.2% in current dollars and 2.4% in inflation-adjusted dollars. This is significant to note after 2018 saw a decrease in giving by individuals.

Giving USA research identifies four primary groups of philanthropic sources:

- Giving by individuals totaled an estimated $209.66 billion, rising 4.7% in 2019.

- Giving by foundations increased 2.5% to an estimated $75.69 billion.

- Giving by bequest was flat, with a slight increase of 0.2% and totaled $43.21 billion.

- Giving by corporations increased by 13.4%, totaling $21.09 billion. This includes cash and in-kind giving.

2019 contributions: $449.64 billion by source of contributions (in billions of dollars, rounded)

Giving USA research also looks at the uses of the funds given and identifies nine sectors. All sectors, with the exception of International Affairs, rose in 2019:

- Public Society Benefit rose 13.1%.

- Arts/Culture/Humanities rose 12.6%

- Education rose 12.1%

- Environment and Animals rose 11.3%

- Health rose 6.8%

- Human Services rose 5%

- Foundations rose 2.5%

- Religion rose 2.3%

- International Affairs decreased 0.4%

Arthur Alley is a proud member of The Giving Institute and supporter of Giving USA. If you’d like to go deeper into this data, we encourage you to visit

If you’d like to talk to someone about these numbers and how your fundraising and strategy might respond to these learnings, please contact us today.


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