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U.S. Charitable Donations Reached Record High in 2016, New Report Shows

June 23, 2017

According to Giving USA 2017: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2016, collective charitable donations—from individuals, corporations, estates, and foundations—totaled an estimated $390.05 billion in 2016. This is a record high, according to the organization’s data, and an increase of 2.7 percent over 2015. When adjusted for inflation, the increase totaled 1.4 percent.

The report tracks contributions to nine sub-sectors of organizations, including education. In 2016, education donations increased 3.6 percent, to $59.77 billion, rising for the seventh year in a row and accounting for 15 percent of total giving. Each of the nine sub-sectors saw an increase in total donations—an occurrence that’s only happened six times in the past 40 years, according to Giving USA.

Notably, 2016 donations from individuals increased by 3.9 percent, greater than the 3.5 percent increases in foundation and corporate donations. Individual per-capita giving by adults was calculated at $1,155; average household giving was $2,240.

The full report, a publication of the Giving USA Foundation researched and written by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, is available for purchase.


Lesley McBain
Assistant Director, Research and Policy Analysis