U.S. Charitable Giving Projected to Increase 4.4% in 2020 and 4.7% in 2021

The Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy with financial support from Marts & Lundy, a fundraising consulting firm dedicated to advancing philanthropy and philanthropic research and strengthening nonprofit leadership has released The Philanthropy Outlook 2020 & 2021. The report provide scholars and practitioners critical information about the charitable giving environment in 2020 and 2021.

Key Findings:

Overall, Americans should expect philanthropic growth in the coming years:

  • The growth rate for total giving is expected to rise above the historical 10-year, 25-year, and 40-year annualized average rates of growth.
  • All sources of giving are projected to increase their contributions in 2020 and 2021. Giving by bequest will see the largest increase in 2020, followed by giving by foundations. Giving by foundations will see the largest increase in 2021. Increases in contributions from individuals/households will be higher than increases in gifts made by corporations, which are more tepid.
  • Among the recipient subsectors, giving to health is projected to increase the most in 2020 and 2021. In 2020 and 2021, the health, education, and public-society benefit subsectors are expected to see giving rise above the 10-year, 25-year, and 40-year historical trends.

Specific factors that will significantly and positively influence total giving in 2020 and 2021 include:

  • Year-over-year growth in the current year’s S&P 500 influences individual/household giving for the subsequent year, especially giving by those with median and higher levels of income. In general, growth in personal income for all types of households will positively impact total giving in 2020 and 2021.
  • Growth in the preceding years’ personal income, and Growth in GDP.

Editors note: No forecast model can project future conditions with absolute certainty, and all models have a margin of error.

The Philanthropy Outlook 2020 & 2021 is available here.