It’s the season of giving, and we’re here to remind you that giving is an essential part of human connection. We’ve put together a list of our favorite charitable giving statistics below. Use these to inspire your next conversation, or just to remind yourself how important it is to give back!
Charity is all around us, in our everyday lives and in the places we visit. We see it at church and in the workplace, or we see it on social media. So, we thought it would be fun to put together some statistics that can help inform your giving decisions.
Here are some exciting data points on charitable giving to help you get a better sense of where your charitable contributions fit into the bigger picture. We hope the data will help you understand more about the current state of charitable giving, how it’s changed over time, and how it impacts our society for good.
Let’s get into it!
Charitable Giving Statistics (Editor’s Choice)
Should you lose faith in humanity, or are there still good people left? Are Americans really the most generous nation? Find the answers to the most pressing questions below, where we handpicked the top charitable giving stats just for you.
- In 2021, Indonesia had the highest World Giving Index of 69%.
- In 2020, more than 3 billion people helped someone they didn’t know.
- 69% of those who donate money appreciate a “thank you” note.
- Private philanthropy is 1.44% of the US’s GDP.
- 84% of Canadians donate money to charitable causes.
- Americans donated $471.44 billion in 2020.
- Online charitable giving is on the rise.
- Credit cards are the most common method of donating money.
While the selection above is truly the most important one, we have many more amusing as well as surprising figures below. So, stay tuned and discover the latest corporate and individual donations trends.
Global Charitable Giving Statistics
1. Indonesia boasted the highest giving index in 2021.
According to Charities Aid Foundation, Indonesia had the highest giving index in 2021. This World Giving Index is calculated by considering helping a stranger, donating money to charities, and volunteering.
Here are the top five countries with the highest World Giving Index.
- Indonesia – 69%
- Kenya – 58%
- Nigeria – 52%
- Myanmar – 51%
- Australia – 49%
The same report reveals that over 3 billion people helped a stranger in 2020.
(Charities Aid Foundation)
2. People in the USA are the most generous in the world.
When it comes to private philanthropy, it represents 1.44% of the US’s GDP, which is double the share in Canada (0.77%).
Below, let’s see what share of the GDP private philanthropy is in different countries worldwide.
|Country||Private Philanthropy (% of GDP)|
As you can see by these figures, there’s no other nation where private philanthropy is as big as in the United States. Way to go, America!
3. Brits donated £11.3 billion to charity in 2020.
This figure represents an increase of 6.60% compared to the $10.6 billion recorded in 2019. Nearly two-thirds of those who donated (62%) gave money to charity either via sponsorship or a donation. The average donation amount a month in the country was £49 in 2021.
Among those Brits who donate money, animal welfare seems to be the most popular category. For this cause, 27% of donors decided to give money, compared to 24% who donated to support children or young people and 22% who contributed to medical research. Still, it’s important to note that almost one-fifth of every donation in the Kingdom goes to religion.
(Charities Aid Foundation)
4. In Canada, 84% of the people give money to charities.
The number of Canadian donors is big, and the country boasts 161,000 charities and nonprofit organizations. In 12 months, these people donate about CA$10.6 billion to charities, where the average donator gives CA$446 in a year.
People who donate money in Canada support 3.8 charities on average. The most common reason contributors donate is compassion, or this is what 89% of the donors have said. Most people (85%) of these donors contribute to supporting a cause they believe in.
5. Donating money for a free gift is likely only for one-fifth of the donors.
The statistic shows that for 80% of the people that participated in a Giving USA survey, a free gift wasn’t a motivation to donate.
Less than two-thirds (60%) of the respondents named such a gift a “waste of money,” and 36% said they didn’t want or need it.
For 6% of the generous people, a gift had no impact on donating money, and they mentioned the effect it would have on the environment.
6. People who donate appreciate a “thank you.”
According to 69% of those who donate money to charities, nonprofit organizations should express gratitude via email. The second-best way is a printed letter (14%), while 6% find a text message appropriate.
Postcards, social media shoutouts, and phone calls are the top way of receiving gratitude for 5%, 4%, and 2% of those who donate money.
7. About 31% of worldwide donors give money to organizations outside the county they live in.
People love giving a helping hand, not only to their fellow citizens but to those living in other countries, as well.
Below, let’s see the countries that receive the most money from foreign donors.
- US – 17%
- Israel – 8%
- Canada – 7%
- Syria – 5%
- India – 4%
The most common reason (41%) for foreign donations is natural disasters. However, the Giving USA report in question focuses on 2018.
Considering the COVID-19 pandemic that came afterward and the war in Ukraine, the numbers will probably drastically change in future reports.
8. The US Congress approved $13.6 billion in spending on Ukraine.
This emergency spending comes in response to the recent war in the country resulting from the Russian invasion. Most of that money, or $6.9 billion, would go to traditional foreign aid. The rest of the world has been donating money to support Ukraine, as well.
According to real-time data from Candid.org, there have been 599 grants worth $700,690,634 approved at the time of this writing.
In addition, there’ve been over 130 pledges worth more than $662 million.
(The New York Times, Candid.org)
9. In Africa, cash is the preferred method, and a significant percentage also gives tribute gifts.
Using cash is the preferred method of 32% of the African population who donates, while 25% do it online. For 15%, donations are usually made through mobile apps, and for 14%, through bank transfers.
Africans are often enrolled in monthly giving programs, which is the case for about 27% of donors. About 38% send tribute gifts.
Wills are an atypical way to donate money, but 14% of African charity givers do it anyway.
10. Asian donors prefer donating money online.
Credit cards are the most used method in Asia when it comes to online charitable giving. This option is the top choice for 51% of the donors.
The percentage of Asian donors who take part in the monthly programs is 41%, while wills are used for 15% of them.
As for donations in foreign countries, 44% of the Asian donors do that.
11. An impressive $2.7 billion was collected during GivingTuesday 2021.
This amount sets a new record for the initiative and represents a 9% improvement compared to GivingTuesday 2020.
The Giving Basket average in 2021 was $129.33, or 30% higher than the 2020 average. There was also an increase in the average number of gifts from 4.93 to 5.14.
Charitable Giving in the United States
12. Americans donated $471.44 billion in 2020.
According to the latest Giving USA report, charitable giving in the United States increased by 5.1% between 2019 and 2020. It reached an impressive $471.44 billion in 2020, and most of that money came from individual donations. More precisely, individuals donated 69% of all donations, or $324.10 billion.
13. Americans donate the most in December.
The most significant percentage of donations in the US is given in December. Approximately one-third (30%) of all US donations happen during this month. Among those donations, 10% occur in the final three days of the year.
Statistics reveal that 64% of the donors are women and that 77% of the US donors believe that donating to good causes can change things for the better.
14. More than 9 out of 10 wealthy families donate money to charities.
When it comes to families with high incomes, about 91% of them donate money to good causes. Their average donations reach $25,509 per year, whereas the general average is much lower at $2,520.
Donating money, however, for these families also means tax deductions of up to 50% of the adjusted gross income.
15. More than one-third of donations in the US go to religious causes.
Americans love to donate money, especially if the cause is somehow related to religion. In fact, Philanthropy Roundtable’s editor calculations from Giving USA figures have revealed interesting charitable giving patterns among US donors.
Here are the most popular categories when it comes to donating money in the USA.
|Category||% of Donations|
(Philanthropy Roundtable, Giving USA)
16. In 2019, religious donations from Americans reached $128.17 billion.
The amount that was donated to religious causes from Americans in 2019 was 2.3% higher than the previous year.
However, even though this segment was the biggest in terms of money collected, it didn’t have the highest year-over-year growth in donations.
These were the segments that overpowered it in that sense.
|Sector||Charity Amount||YOY Growth|
|Public society benefit organizations||$37.16bn||13.10%|
|Arts, culture, and humanities||$21.64bn||12.60%|
|Environment and animal organizations||$14.16bn||11.30%|
17. Donating to good causes in America is mainly made by individuals.
Individuals in America, participating with about 80% of the donations, make the most of giving to good causes. Seventy-one percent of this figure comes from living people, while 9% of the contributions are made through wills.
Second on the list of most significant donors are foundations, which contribute 15%. Corporations participate with 5% only.
As for how much each of these donors gave in 2019, here are the figures:
- Individuals – $309.66 billion
- Individuals giving by bequest – $43.21 billion
- Foundations – $75.69 billion
- Corporations – $21.09 billion
18. Besides money, time and effort are valued donations as well.
Volunteering is also considered a kind of donation, and 25% of Americans do that. There are 63 million volunteers in the US annually, and each one donates 139 hours of their time on average. The total hours invested is about 8.7 billion a year.
You can earn money, but you can’t get your time back. In that sense, time may be the most valuable donation one can make, would you agree?
(Philanthropy Roundtable, US Bureau of Labor Statistics)
19. The wealthiest residents of the United States donate the most.
Households with an income of $162,000+ donate $5,805 on average, which is approximately 2% of the income. Most of the wealthy families, or 93%, donate money to good causes.
Also, as the annual incomes drop, the percentage of them that goes to donations rises. In other words, families making $25,000 donate 12% of their yearly income, with an average annual donation of $934. However, only 37% of these families give money to charities.
20. Utah is the state where people donate the most significant income percentage.
Not all states are equal when it comes to charitable giving. In fact, data shows that Utah is the most generous state regarding the share of income that goes to donations. New Hampshire, on the other hand, is at the bottom of the list.
Here are the five most generous US states:
- Utah – 6.6%
- Mississippi – 5%
- Alabama – 4.9%
- Tennessee – 4.5%
- Georgia – 4.3%
Here are the five least generous US states:
- New Hampshire – 1.7%
- Maine – 2%
- Vermont – 2%
- New Jersey – 2%
- Rhode Island – 2.1%
(Philanthropy Roundtable, How America Gives)
21. Private donors give over 50% of the US overseas assistance.
The US overseas assistance gets $43.9 billion from private donations. Charities are at the top with the most significant contribution to this amount, or 35%. Corporations contribute 26%, religious groups with 26%, and foundations with 11%.
One-tenth comes from volunteers, and 5% comes from colleges. Government overseas aid programs also contribute, and the amount of money they give is $33.1 billion.
Charitable Giving Demographics
About 40% of this generation’s members partake in at least one monthly giving program. According to the most recent charity statistics, almost half (46%) donate money using crowdfunding platforms.
About 84% of Millennials give money to charities. They usually donate to 3.3 charity organizations on average, and their average charitable donation is $481. Nearly half of Millennial donors, or 47%, donate money via websites, indicating a progressive move toward online giving.
23. Almost half of Gen Xers in America take part in monthly giving programs.
Monthly giving programs are used for making donations by 49% of donors from this generation. About one-third (31%) of the Gen Xers in America give tribute gifts.
Crowdfunding campaigns are the most popular for Gen X donors as 45% use them for giving money to charitable causes, while 19% donate via Facebook. As this generation often uses social networks, 59% of them are motivated to give money through Facebook.
24. Baby Boomers are more generous than Gen X Americans, with 72% giving money to charity.
Each Baby Boomer in America donates $1,212 annually to good causes. The average number of organizations they give money to is 4.5, and 49% do it through monthly giving programs.
Crowdfunding is less popular in this generation, where 35% of the donors use it. Facebook is a donating tool for 21% of the Baby Boomers and fundraising events for 58% of them.
25. Silent Generation Americans are the most generous donors.
In the last year, about 30% of Americans over the age of 75 have donated money online. Furthermore, charitable giving trends reveal that people from this generation give 25% more frequently than the rest.
The Silent Generation’s contributions account for 26% of all donations. Americans from the Silent Generation also give to more charities or to about 6.2 organizations. Finally, they give more money per year, or about $1,365.
26. Millennials showed their caring side during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The COVID pandemic made Millennials more generous. About 75% of Millennials have sent financial aid to their family and friends. Alternatively, they donated money to nonprofits. About 66% of Gen Zers and 63% of Gen Xers have done the same.
On the other hand, significantly fewer (54%) Baby Boomers sent such aid during the pandemic.
27. Women and men make most donations using credit and debit cards.
About 54% of women choose a credit or debit card to donate money. Direct mail, bank transfer, and cash are the choices for 11%, 11%, and 10% of female donors.
As for what motivates women to donate money, 32% are inspired by social media, 45% do it through monthly giving programs, and 59% through events.
More than half (52%) of the male donors use credit and debit cards to donate money. Cash is an option for 12%, bank transfers for 10%, and direct mail also for 10% of the male donors.
Emails are the reason why 30% of men give money to charity. An additional 25% said they are inspired by social media, 19% by websites, and 13% by direct mail.
When it comes to monthly giving programs, 46% of male money donors use them for making donations, while 50% of them go to fundraising events.
28. Christian donors are the most generous when it comes to monthly giving programs.
About 45% of the Christian donors are enrolled in monthly giving programs. This number among Buddhists is 39% and 36% among Hindus.
As for the fundraising events, 62% of Christian donors, 29% of Buddhist donors, and 36% of Hindu donors attend them. Buddhists prefer to donate via bank transfer, Christians via direct mail, and Hindus prefer making cash donations.
Monthly giving programs have 50% of Jewish, and 45% of Muslim donors enrolled. Credit and debit cards are preferred payment methods for 53% of the Jewish and 35% of the Muslims. About half of the Jewish donors attend charity events, which is a bit lower than the 52% of Muslim donors.
29. In Canada, those 65 and over donate the most money annually.
The average donation amount in Canada is CA$446. Most people aged 35-54 (89%) donate money. However, older Canadians tend to contribute the most money. So, the average annual donation among those 65+ is CA$643.
A similar trend can be noticed when Canadian donors are analyzed depending on where they live in the country. While Atlantic provinces have the most people giving money to charity, Westerners donate the most.
30. British women support animal welfare groups, while men support medical research.
In the UK, women are more likely than their male counterparts to support animal welfare charities, children, or young people, and the arts. In contrast, men are more likely than women to support medical research, religious causes, and schools, colleges, or education.
32% of women support animal welfare charities compared to 21% of men. 25% of women support children or young people, and 21% of men do the same. 4% of women gave to arts charities this past year, as opposed to 3% of men.
On the other hand, 25% of men and 20% of women support medical research, 13% of men vs 11% of women support religious causes, and 5% of men vs 3% of women support schools, colleges, and education.
In 2020, a new trend emerged. Individuals aged 65 and up were more likely than younger donors to donate to international aid and disaster relief; a fifth (20%) of those aged 65 and up gave to these causes, compared to 15% of those aged 64 and up.
Younger donors are more inclined than older donors to donate to charities that assist physical and mental health; 20% of 16-24-year-olds do so.
(Charities Aid Foundation)
Online Charitable Giving Statistics
31. Significant growth is noted in online donations.
In 2017, the revenue of online charities had noted a growth of 23%. Environmental and rights nonprofits marked the biggest individual improvements of 34% and 37%, respectively. The same year, in the US, $31 billion were given to charities and nonprofits through the Internet.
Significant growth of over 60% is noted between 2012 and 2017. The total charitable amount given online in 2012 was $19.2 billion.
32. The average amount of online charity giving is nearly $130.
People who donate money online in America give $128 on average. The average annual online donation is a bit higher at $326 among recurring donors. Most internet donations came from credit cards, whereas text messages are the least popular option.
Here are the favorite donation methods among online charitable givers in America.
- Credit or debit cards – 54%
- PayPal – 9%
- Mobile apps – 4%
- Text messages – 1%
More than half, or 51% of the people with high incomes, want to give money online. However, 67% of the nonprofits in the world accept online donations.
33. 1,000 fundraising emails bring an average of $42 to nonprofits.
One of the ways charities and nonprofits raise money is through email marketing. If a nonprofit organization is smaller, with less than 100,000 subscribers, it raises an average of $71 on every 1,000 emails sent.
Organizations with 100,000-500,000 and with 500,000+ subscribers collect respective $36 and $32 per 1,000 emails.
34. Facebook inspires online charitable giving.
According to 56% of the donors worldwide, the social medium Facebook was the main inspiration for donating money. Moreover, around 18% of those who give money to charities and nonprofits have used the network’s Fundraising Tools for this purpose.
Instagram is the second social network when it comes to prompting online donations. About 20% of charity givers find their causes there.
Twitter rounds up the top-three list as it was mentioned by 13% of those who donate money online. YouTube, WhatsApp, and Pinterest are less influential, inspiring only 6%, 2%, and 0.3% of global donors.
Hopefully, these charitable giving statistics have helped you understand the importance of giving back, and how you can better analyze your own charitable giving strategies.
As you can see, charitable giving can have a powerful impact on the future of not only ourselves but also the country and our society as a whole. We hope that you’ll join in on the fun—or continue your good work if you’re already a donor—by supporting your favorite charity or cause today.
Remember that there is no “perfect” way to give back—but when you give as genuinely and thoughtfully as possible, it will always make a positive impact.
Thanks for reading!