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For over 60 years, fundraising leaders have made great use of the insights provided by Giving USA – the longest-running and most comprehensive report on philanthropy in the United States.

Details from the report identify trends in charitable giving important to organizations of all types and sizes. Institutions use the data from Giving USA to inform fundraising strategies and allocate resources for the greatest outcomes.

With the release of #GivingUSA2016, we see some of the following key takeaways:

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Giving-USA-2016-Highlights

  • Americans donated an estimated $373.25 billion to charity in 2015, surpassing the pre-recession benchmark year of 2007. In addition, 2015 was the sixth year in a row of increased giving.
  • Individual giving, at $264.58 billion, increased 3.8 percent in 2015. Itemized giving comprised 82 percent of the total estimate giving by individuals.
  • Foundation giving, at $58.46 billion. increased 6.5 percent in 2015. Foundation giving saw significant growth in all three types of foundations (independent 6%, operating 8.1% and community 7.4%).
  • Bequest giving, at $31.76 billion, increased 2.1 percent in 2015. These figures include two mega-bequests: approximately $759 million from Richard Mellon Scaife and more than $605 million from John Santikos.
  • Corporate giving, at $18.45 billion, increased 3.9 percent in 2015. Corporate foundation giving is estimated to have totaled $5.43 billion in 2015.

“We have seen, from these national Giving USA trends and our own local research at Dini Spheris, that philanthropy continues to steadily recover and thrive,” shares Dini Spheris principal M. Anne Murphy, CFRE. “Beyond the numbers,” she goes on, “our colleagues and clients continue to grow and achieve amazing dreams because of the ordinary and extraordinary generosity of so many wonderful individuals, foundations and corporate donors.”

The key takeaways above come from Giving USA 2016: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2015. The production and release of Giving USA is the result of the collaborative efforts of Giving USA Foundation, a public service initiative of The Giving Institute, and Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. For more information on the report or to purchase a copy, please visit http://givingusa.org/.

Dini Spheris is a proud member of the Giving Institute and donor to the Giving USA Foundation. On June 14, the firm presented a workshop on Giving USA 2016’s key findings to an audience in partnership with the United Way of Greater Houston.