GivingUSA 2016 Numbers Are Out – And Individuals Still Rule

Published on June 15, 2017

Brian Saber

President of Asking Matters
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In this world of infinite change, we can still count on some things. Total individual giving still represents almost 88% of all charitable giving in the U.S.

Last year outright gifts by individuals jumped the most of all giving categories – by almost 4% – or approximately $10 billion.

That was countered a bit by a big drop in bequests – 9% or about $2 billion (that figure can swing wildly based on one or two whopping bequests).

And then there’s the stealth individual figure – foundation gifts. Many forget that half of all those gifts are from individual or small family foundations and donor advised funds, where individuals are making decisions about their own money. Foundation gifts increased 3.5%, or about $2 billion, so that’s another $1 billion increase for individuals.

Bottom line – individuals were up $9 billion of a total increase of $12 billion. 75% of the increase!

Each year, when the GivingUSA numbers come out, it’s a great reminder that most gifts come from individuals and that means our organizations need to focus most of their efforts on individuals. Does yours?

And let’s not forget…. all the biggest gifts come from asking face-to-face. So to tap into the extraordinary generosity that is part of what makes America great, you’ve got to be out there asking. Asking matters!



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