Top Insights from the Giving USA 2024 Annual Report: What You Need to Know

Giving USA 2024 Annual Report: Actionable Insights & Takeaways | GPG
Giving USA 2024 Annual Report: Actionable Insights & Takeaways | GPG

The latest Giving USA annual report is out, and it’s packed with insights that can supercharge your fundraising strategy. 

What’s So Important About Giving USA 2024? 

This report is known for its reliability and respect in the philanthropic world.

 We like it because it offers a deep dive into charitable giving trends and giving statistics across all sectors in the U.S.

Join us for a deep dive webinar where we will discuss our Giving USA Insights on Monday, July 1, at 2 p.m. ET. Register here.  

How Did Giving Perform in 2023? 

2023 was a phenomenal year for charitable giving, with total donations hitting a whopping $557.16 billion. 

Yes, you read that right—$557.16 billion! This number shows just how generous Americans are, even with inflation running at 4.1% last year. 

While giving grew by 1.9% in current dollars, it actually dipped by 2.1% when adjusted for inflation. 

The Good News About 2023 

Yet, the really good news is that giving remains above pre-pandemic levels, proving that the commitment to supporting vital causes is stronger than ever.

In this article, we’ve broken down the latest data from 2023 into three parts for you:

In Part One, you’ll hear updates about the four sources of giving: Individuals, Foundations, Bequests, and Corporate Giving.

In Part Two, you’ll discover trends in the nine subsectors of giving: Religion; Human Services; Public-Society Benefit; Health; International Affairs; Foundations; Education; Arts, Culture and Humanities; and Environment and Animals.

And in Part Three, you’ll get our takeaways and fundraising strategy tips based on the findings to help you fundraise successfully this year—and beyond.

Part One: Who’s Giving?

The Giving USA annual report highlights that all four sources of giving—individuals, foundations, bequests, and corporations—contributed more than the previous year, although inflation had a big impact. 

Here are some key takeaways:

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Individual Giving:

  • Individuals still led the way in American philanthropy, contributing 67% of all donations. 
  • However, since the mid-2010s, the share from individuals has been steadily decreasing due to the rise in foundation giving. 
  • The only exception was 2021, which was an exceptional year for giving across the board, because of the pandemic.


  • Foundations have really stepped up, crossing the $100 billion mark for the second year in a row. 
  • Remember, foundation grantmaking is dependent on the growth of their investment portfolios.  
  • With the recent strong financial market, foundation assets have expanded in value, giving them more funding to make grants. 


  • Charitable bequests are becoming increasingly significant, especially with Baby Boomers entering their peak giving years. 
  • Boomers are the wealthiest generation, with a combined net worth of $78.55 trillion. As they age, planned giving becomes a crucial area to watch closely.

Corporate Giving:

  • Corporate giving has grown too, thanks to strong pre-tax profits and innovative strategies like matching gifts and impact investing.

Part Two: What are People Giving To?

Giving USA 2024 covers nine subsectors, each with different growth within their charitable giving trends: Religion; Human Services; Education; Foundations; Public-Society Benefit; Health; International Affairs; Arts, Culture, and Humanities; and Environment and Animals.

Religious Giving:

  • Experienced the lowest share of giving on record, in keeping with a steady decline over decades. 
  • But fear not! Faith-based values still drive much charitable behavior, even if gifts aren’t going directly to places of worship or denominations.


  • Up 6.7% in 2023, boosted by major gifts from high-net-worth donors, for whom giving to education has traditionally been a priority. 
  • These HNW folks largely had a good year, which means that education did, too.

Human Services: 

  • To the surprise of no one, giving to human services increased during the pandemic. But here’s the best news: giving is still up! 
  • We believe that the pandemic shed a bright light on basic needs that weren’t being met, and drove many Americans to step up their support. 


  • Giving to foundations reached $100 billion for the second consecutive year, showing an ever-expanding footprint. 
  • We think this is a sign of the growth of extremely HNW individuals and the tax-advantaged ways they fund charities.

Public-Society Benefit: 

  • Organizations that work within community and economic development saw nice growth – up 7.2% even when adjusted for inflation. 
  • Much of this was driven by mega gifts from high-profile donors.


  • Health and medical services is an area often prioritized by donors during economic downturns or crises.
  • Again it grew in 8.7% in current dollars in 2023. 
  • We should also expect to see a continued strong case for support in this sector, given rising healthcare costs and an aging population.

Arts & Culture: 

  • Arts and culture giving is closely associated with high net worth donors.
  • This area saw a sigificant rebound and recovery in 2023 as wealth levels increased, largely due to stock market gains.

International Affairs: 

  • Growth lagged in 2023. 
  • Support for specific international crises like the war in Ukraine that received significant American donations in 2020/2021 did not continue at the same levels in 2023.
  • This is likely due to economic uncertainties and a shift in focus to domestic issues.

Environment & Animals: 

  • Rising interest and attention, especially among younger donors, is turning into tangible and growing support for these issues. 
  • Climate change, conservation, and animal welfare all grew in 2023. 
Don’t miss our important takeaways in our Giving USA webinar on Monday, July 1, at 2 p.m. ET. Register here.  

Part Three: Key takeaways to help you achieve fundraising success right now!

Here are our recommended strategies that we suggest you implement. 

These tactics can help keep your donors engaged, motivated, and committed to your mission for the long haul. 

Use these to inform your nonprofit fundraising strategies, and thank us later!

1. Giving Channels are Changing – Pay More Attention to Foundations of All Types. 

While individuals continue to drive charitable giving, an increasing portion of donations is being funneled through foundations and donor-advised funds. 

Foundations, benefiting from strong financial markets and increased assets, crossed the $100 billion mark again. 

Action item: Build and strengthen relationships with foundations – including private foundations – to stay top-of-mind. 

2. Philanthropy Follows the Stock Market – Seek Appreciated Securities. 

Philanthropy mirrors stock market trends, but its highs and lows are usually less extreme than stock market ups and downs.. For instance 2008, the S&P 500 dropped 38%, but philanthropy only dipped by 7%. 

Action item: There’s an excellent opportunity now to achieve large gifts of appreciated stock. Anyone who has a stock portfolio probably has stocks that have significantly gone up in value. 

Donors who give appreciated stock can also receive generous tax deductions. Be sure to remind your donors about this opportunity!  

3. Charitable Bequests are BIG – Focus on Planned Giving!  

The Baby Boomer generation has a combined net worth of $78.55 trillion and are entering their peak giving years. 

Action Item: You have an excellent opportunity right now to seek estate gifts from donors in their 70s and 80s. Now’s the time to prioritize planned giving. 

And, don’t forget gifts made through retirement plans – these are particularly appealing from a tax standpoint as well.

Be sure your planned giving materials are updated, and weave them into ALL your donor communications. 

4. Donors Are More Aware of Community Needs – So Be In Front of Them! 

The pandemic really highlighted community needs, and that awareness hasn’t gone away. More people are paying attention. 

Tough times have strengthened many nonprofit-donor relationships, creating a chance to grow giving sustainably. 

Keep showcasing your community’s needs—we know they’re still important! 

So, What’s Next?

These philanthropy and donor trends from Giving USA 2024 can leverage your work to bring in more funding. 

Join us for a deep dive webinar on Monday, July 1, at 2 p.m. ET on Giving USA 2023. We’ll discuss even more strategies that can help you exceed your fundraising goals!  Register here.