Giving USA recently released their 2021 report detailing philanthropic trends of 2020. A record $471.44B was given away - up 5% from the previous year. COVID, the economic crisis and renewed urgency around racial justice triggered the increase - no surprise there. This compelling infographic summarizes the trends. I found some of the deeper data curious...
Foundations' share of giving is the highest it has ever been ($88.55B); this is a 17% increase over the prior year. Many foundations gave more than the minimum payout of 5% in the pandemic year. And, of course, the stock market performed well in 2020 which increased foundations’ assets overall.
While giving from individuals, bequests, and foundations grew, corporate giving declined. This is largely attributed to a decrease in Gross Domestic Product (-2.3%) and a decline in corporate pretax profits.
Growth in giving from individuals can be attributed to a decrease in spending of disposable income during the pandemic (no travel, eating out, etc). Additionally, individual donors responded to the tremendous needs of 2020. Possibly the biggest factor for increased individual giving is tied to a strong S&P 500 which grew by 16.3% in 2020.
Seven of the nine nonprofit sub sectors grew in charitable dollars received. However, the Arts, Culture, & Humanities and Health were the only sub sectors that saw a decrease in dollars received. Notably, public society benefit sub sector grew by a record 15.7%. Many point to the growth of donor advised funds as the cause for the increase (think Fidelity, Vanguard, Schwab - they fall in this category.)