The state of charitable giving in the U.S.

Charitable giving statistics are incredibly useful for providing insight into human behavior — from financial health to generosity and social responsibility of a society.

In the U.S., research shows that over the last 20 years — especially during the Great Recession of 2007-2009 — the average size of charitable donations and the number of American households to donate have steadily declined.During the 12 months before May 2023, half of American donors said they have given less to charitable causes due to inflation eating up more of their income.4

Despite the overall decline in giving, many Americans are still passionate about supporting causes they believe in. Here’s an overview of some of the most recent charitable giving statistics, with original sources included in the footnotes.

Top charitable statistics for 2022

Researchers will typically focus on where generosity comes from year over year, how much those figures have increased or decreased, and how people are choosing to distribute their donations.


      • Americans gave a total of $499.33 billion in 2022, which is 3.4% less than the year prior. Adjusted for inflation, giving declined 10.5%.2

      • Corporate giving accounted for $29.48 billion — up 3.4% from 2021.2

      • Foundations gave $105.21 billion — 2.5% more than 2021.2

      • Bequests recorded $45.6 billion in giving — up 2.3% from 2021.2

      • Individual giving included $319.04 billion — a 6.4% decrease from 2021.2

      • The highest percentage of giving came from individuals, totaling 64%, followed by foundations (21%), bequests (9%), and corporations (6%).2

      • Contributions were distributed to a wide range of recipients, with religious organizations proving to be the most popular. A total of $143.57 billion (accounting for 27% of all giving) was designated for religious purposes. This figure is up 5.2% from 2021.2

      • Human services — broadly defined as the effort to meet human needs through prevention, remediation, and overall quality of life improvements — received the second highest percentage of giving dollars at $71.98 billion (14%). That figure is slightly lower, 0.6%, compared to the year prior.2

      • The remaining percentage of contributions in 2022 were as follows:2


            • 13% to education ($70.7 billion, down 3.6%)

            • 11% to foundations ($56.84 billion, up 10.1%)

            • 10% to healthcare ($51.08 billion, up 5.1%)

            • 9% to public-society benefit ($48.86 billion, down 8.4%)

            • 6% to international affairs ($33.71 billion, up 10.9%)

            • 5% to arts, culture, and humanities ($24.76 billion, up 2.9%)

            • 3% to environmental/animal causes ($16.10 billion, down 1.6%)

            • 2% to individuals ($12.98 billion, up 0.6%)

      Giving statistics demographics

      Certain trends become clear when examining charitable giving statistics filtered for age, income level, and other demographic considerations.

      Motivations are most commonly rooted in personal or emotional connection to a cause, the desire to contribute to the greater good, and associated tax benefits. Conversely, there are also personal considerations that hinder a donor from following through with giving, which could account for the recent decline in individual giving.

      Let’s examine the latest charity donation statistics as they pertain to demographics for a deeper understanding:

      Charitable giving by age group

      While age has become less predictive of charitable giving trends over timeandhousehold income has proven to be more telling4, it’s still worth noting the percentage of those who participated in charitable giving in 2022 by age group:


          • 40% of Gen Z (18-25 years old)5

          • 53% of Millennials (26-41 years old)5

          • 54% of Gen X (42-57 years told)5

          • 57% of Boomers (58-78 years old)5

          • 63% of Seniors (77+)5

        Charitable giving by income group

        Research shows that in 2022, 85.1% of affluent households gave to charity, which is substantially more than the percentage of the general population to contribute (48.8%).3

        Of the roughly 15% of affluent households that did not participate in charitable giving, their reasons were to prioritize the family’s financial needs, a lack of resources to give in 2022, because they did not want to, or because they did not feel a connection to a particular charity.3

        Affluent donors gave on average to seven charities in 2022,3 while the general population supported an average of 4.5 charities.2 Motivations for both groups range from believing in the mission of an organization to personal satisfaction.

        Charitable giving by religious affiliation


            • Giving to religion grew 5.2% in 2022, reaching $143.57 billion. However, when the inflation rate of 8% is factored in, these charitable contributions actually declined by 2.6%.6

            • This is likely in part due to decreased attendance rates for religious services compared to pre-pandemic years.6

            • Researchers are not necessarily concerned about the future of religious giving, as this trend has happened before. For example, after giving to religion dropped at the height of the early-2000s recession, it grew over time and even exceeded previous records.6

          Charitable giving by geographic location


              • Utah was deemed the most charitable U.S. state7 by researchers who compared 19 key indicators of giving behavior in 2022, taking into account volunteer efforts, share of income donated, and more.

              • Wyoming, Minnesota, and Maryland took the next highest three rankings, with Arizona falling last as the least charitable state.

            Corporate giving statistics


                • Corporate giving increases in 2021 and 2022 are attributed to increases in GDP and pre-tax profits.9

                • The top 10 corporations donate more than $2 billion in cash each year, mostly through employee matching programs.9

                • 71% of corporate employees say it’s “imperative” or “very important” that the company they work for supports charitable causes through monetary donations and volunteer efforts.

              Online giving statistics


                  • 94% of recurring donors prefer to give monthly; 3% weekly, 2% annually, and 1% quarterly.10

                  • 63% of donors prefer to give online with a credit or debit card; 16% through mail, 10% via PayPal, 5% with a wire transfer, 4% in cash, 1% with some form of digital wallet, and 1% via a text message campaign.10

                Donation statistics for donor-advised funds

                Interestingly, there was a steep increase in all donor-advised fund (DAF) metrics in 2019, at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. As of 2022, researchers are seeing a slower rate of growth in grants and contributions, but decreases in charitable assets and the payout rate8. Notably:


                    • Grants from DAFs reached a new high; a 9% increase to $52.16 billion.8

                    • Contributions to DAFs in 2022 totaled $85.53 billion, an all-time high.8

                    • Number of individual DAF accounts rose 2.9%, from 1.88 million in 2021 to 1.94 million in 2022.8

                    • Despite the most notable market decline since 2008, DAF assets reached $228.89 billion in 2022, the second-highest value on record after 2021.8


                  How much does the U.S. population donate to charity?

                  In 2022, Americans collectively gave $499.33 billion to charitable causes. That represents a 3.4% decline from the year before.

                  What demographic gives the most to charity?

                  Seniors older than 77 were the most giving age group in 2022 followed by Baby Boomers.

                  What state gives the most to charity?

                  The latest research shows that Utah is the most charitable state.

                  What percent of income do people donate?

                  Average annual donations tend to equal 2-3% of a person’s income.

                  How many non profits organizations are in the US?

                  There were approximately 1.3 million nonprofit organizations on record in the U.S.


                  1 Osili, Clark, & Han, 2019; Kim, 2022; cited by Lilly Family School of Philanthropy

                  2 Giving USA 2023: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2022

                  3 The 2023 Bank of America Study of Philanthropy

                  4Giving USA: Giving Trends: The Role of Age and Income in Charitable Giving

                  5TrueSense Marketing’s annual Donor Graphics study 2023

                  6 Lake Institute on Faith and Giving; Giving to Religion 2023

                  7 Wallet Hub; Most Charitable States 2023

                  8 National Philanthropic Trust – Donor Advised Fund Report 2022

                  9 NP Source; The Ultimate List of Charitable Giving Statistics for 2023

                  10 Double the Donation; Nonprofit Fundraising Statistics to Boost Results in 2023

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