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Giving Still Strong Reaching $484.85 billion in 2021 Charitable Giving Up 4% in Current Dollars, But Flat (-0.7%) Adjusted for Inflation

Generous Americans supported charitable causes with individual gifts, bequests,
foundation grants, and corporate giving during a year that saw a strong stock market
and GDP. Giving nearly kept pace with inflation following last year’s giving record.

But the important takeaway for most of us is that giving by individuals, their bequests,
and their family foundations amounted to an overwhelming 86.5% of the 2021 giving.

Gifts from individuals rose to the second-highest total dollar amount ever given adjusted for inflation. While their bequests declined, they also reached the second-highest dollar amount ever given adjusted for inflation. Corporate giving rose significantly buoyed by a strong GDP and stock market, and Foundation giving rose as well. It was a significant turnaround from last year’s lower GDP and reduced pre-tax corporate profits.

The strong market likely encouraged very large gifts from some of the wealthiest
Americans, reaching a total of $15 billion in 2021. Many of more modest means made
payment distributions directly from their IRA accounts to help charities while avoiding
income that would otherwise have been taxable to themselves.

Giving USA 2022: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2021, is a publication of the Giving USA Foundation, 2021, researched and written by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.

For your own copy of the Another Perspective bar chart as a PowerPoint slide and/or to receive the Giving USA/Lilly Family School of Philanthropy Press Release with its useful highlights that will make you an instant expert, click the links below. For a free Giving USA 2022 highlights report go to to download it or to order a copy of the full report.

If you prefer either the bar chart or the press release (or both) directly, email me at and ask me to send them to you as an attachment.

Giving USA/Lilly Family School of Philanthropy Press Release

Another Perspective Bar Chart

You may download them by right-clicking and selecting “Save link as…”. 

Nonprofit Consulting Playbook

Sandy is one of the 25 expert authors who contributed to this essential book for nonprofit consultants.

“The beauty of this book lies in the honesty of its 25 contributors. They write openly about the decisions that guided their business models, their early mistakes, and their lessons learned. Even those in this business for decades have commented that their copies of The Playbook are strewn with highlights and bookmarks.” Click here to learn more.

Proud Supporter of Giving USA 2023

Helpful Thoughts

  • Always put a volunteer between yourself and a problem.

  • Possessing facts does not make us better,
    just different. 

  • Knowledge is a right NOT a privilege.

  • If something is worth doing, it is worth doing
    with local support and initiative.

  • Share the essence of your message
    with everyone everyday. 

  • Ours is not a speaking part.

  • He who deliberates fully before taking
    a step with spend his entire life on one leg.

We have found the following helpful thoughts to have special meaning in our lives.

Capital Gift Campaign Simulator

Think you’re ready to launch your Capital Gift Campaign? Take a tour through our simulator and see just how prepared you are. Guaranteed to make you think! Click here to start now.