Last year was a banner year for philanthropy in the United States, reaching a total of $449.64 billion, according to the annual Giving USA report. The total in 2019 was an increase of $18.21 billion from the final revised total of $431.43 billion for 2018.
The Giving USA report is the philanthropy world’s touchstone for understanding total giving in the United States within a given year. Key findings and numbers from this year’s report are published today, June 16, 2020, with the full written report to follow within the next 4-6 weeks.
Of the increase in giving, $13.81 billion came from individual giving, which grew 4.7% to $309.66 billion. These results reflect the overall strong economic conditions of 2019, namely the growth seen in GDP and personal income.
The big question regarding this year’s Giving USA report is how much value there is in looking back at 2019 given all that’s happened in the first half of 2020. The scale of the economic impact of COVID-19 on the nonprofit sector remains to be seen. Many charities have been facing the critical challenge of continuing to carry out their missions at all during social distancing restrictions. Given such circumstances, it is understandable that the pre-COVID figures for 2019 might not seem important. But the fact is that having a clear understanding of the state of charitable giving in 2019 is critical in order to gauge both the full extent of COVID’s impact in 2020 and as a yardstick to measure any resulting recovery seen in 2021 and beyond.
Order the Giving USA 2020 report here or join the conversation on social media #GivingUSA2020