Giving USA: Philanthropic giving grew in 2023, eclipsed slightly by inflation

On June 25, Giving USA, a public service initiative of The Giving Institute, released its annual report on trends in philanthropic contributions for the year 2023. While overall giving in real dollars increased by 1.9% over 2022, it didn’t outpace 4% inflation. So, when adjusted for inflation, total giving dipped, slightly, by 2.1%.

Total giving for 2023 was $557.16 billion.

Melissa Brown

Executive search firm The Yunker Group and grant-seeking firm Grants Plus hosted a briefing at The Metropolitan Club to deliver the results, with in-depth analysis by Melissa S. Brown, a former Giving USA editor and faculty member of Indiana University’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, and now an independent fundraising consultant.

Below are the 2023 numbers:

Contributions ranked by source – where the money came from…

Source$$ in billions % of total Compared to 2022
Individuals $374.40 67% ^ 1.6%
Foundations $103.5319%^ 1.7%
Bequest $42.68 8%^ 4.8%
Corporations$36.557%^ 3.0%

Contributions ranked by destination – where the money went…

Destination$$ in billions % of total * Compared to 2022
Religion$145.8124%^ 3.1%
Human Services$88.8414%^ 5.8%
Education$87.6914%^ 11.1%
Foundations$80.0313%^ 15.4%
Public-Society Benefit$62.8110%^ 11.6%
Health$56.589%^ 8.7%
International Affairs$29.945%^ 2.5%
Arts/Culture/Humanities$25.264%^ 11.0%
Environment/Animals$21.203%^ 8.2%
Individuals$20.663%v 17.2%
*Percentages for recipient categories are calculated using the sum of recipients, which can differ from total giving for any given year. This difference is called “unallocated giving,” and totaled -$61.66 billion in 2023.

Five of the nine destination sub-sectors reached their all time high in 2023, even when adjusted for inflation: human services, education, health, arts/culture/humanities and environment/animals.

Religion, while increasing slightly in real dollars, continued to decline in percentage from its high of 56.4% in 1980.

The Giving USA Foundation, The Giving Institute, and the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy partner annually to provide what is said to be the most comprehensive, longest-running, and most rigorously researched resource on charitable giving in the United States – Giving USA: The Annual Report on Philanthropy. 

Event sponsors: The Metropolitan Club, Taft, Driehaus Insurance Group, Greater Cincinnati Foundation, Clark Schaefer Hackett, SHP Architecture, Better Business Bureau, Horizon Community Funds, Fifth Third Foundation and Leadership Council for Nonprofits. Movers & Makers served as media sponsor. 

Order the full report: 

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