Charitable Giving – A Statistical Overview

The idea for this site grew out of my interest in social behavior observations as a way of establishing effective online fundraising strategy. Before diving into the material, I’ve put together a short, statistical overview of recent fundraising trends. Unless otherwise noted, the following information has been gathered from various sources concerning charitable giving in the United States for 2014.

  • Americans gave $358.38 billion in 2014, a 7% increase from 2013 (which was 2% of the GDP).
  • The average household contribution was $2,974.
  • Donations from individuals accounted for 75% of all contributions. If you add in gifts and bequests from family foundations (which are essentially gifts from individuals) the total becomes 90%.

Breakdown of 2014 Charitable Donations by Recipient Organization

(in billions)


  • 1,507,231 – number of tax-exempt nonprofit organizations in the United States
  • 500,868 – number of nonprofits with less than $1,000,000 in revenue
  • 2.25% – percentage of organizations that account for 90% of total reported revenue
  • 98.4% of high net worth households gave to charity
  • 64% of contributions were made by women

Top Ten Generous States in 2012 

(based on % of income for individual charitable contributions – the national average is 2.1%)


  • 75% of donors spend 2 hours or less researching nonprofits before giving.
  • Online fundraising increased by 8.9%.
  • Monthly donors give 42% more in one year than one-time donors.
  • The average nonprofit crowdfunding campaign raised $9,237.55.
  • For every 1,000 fundraising emails sent, a nonprofit raises $17.
  • 10% of annual giving occurs on the last 3 days of the year.

Sources: Charity Navigator, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, National Center for Charitable Statistics, Nonprofit Tech for Good, Blackbaud

Charitable Giving – A Statistical Overview

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