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Just Released: Giving USA’s 2021 Report On 2020 Philanthropy

Updated: Jan 21, 2022

Do you know where your organization fits into the overall philanthropic landscape? How did your 2020 development activity compare to others in the field?

At Cape Fletcher, we believe more data is good data, and we believe leveraging data to make informed decisions is one of the most valuable (and shockingly underleveraged) tools at the disposal of most institutions in the social sector.

The June 2021 release of the annual Giving USA report is one of those tools to keep yourself (and your board of directors) informed on recent giving trends. Consider digesting the data and then use it to start a conversation with your CEO, development committee chair or board president about your vision for philanthropy at your organization.

Among the key takeaways from the report on 2020 giving:

  • Americans gave a record $471.44 billion to charity in 2020, the highest year ever including when adjusted for inflation.

  • 7 of the 9 sub sectors saw an increase in support: Public/society benefit, Environment, Human services, Education, International affairs, Giving to foundations, Religion. (Giving to Health and Arts/Culture decreased during this period.)

  • Online giving represented 12.9% of overall giving, which was the first time online giving surpassed 10% and was more than 4% higher than the year prior which had been the biggest year of online giving by percentage.

As a reminder, individual giving represents the vast majority of American philanthropy (69% from individual donors and 9% from bequests) comprising more than three-quarters of total philanthropic activity.

The full Giving USA report may be found here, the Key Findings here, and a free one-page Info Graphic (perfect for inclusion in your development report to the board of directors) is found here.

Remember to harness your data to identify trends, opportunities and any possible weaknesses in your development program. It has a lot to tell you!

Cape Fletcher Associates

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