Giving to Education


5.1 %


5.5 %

Giving to education includes all cash and non-cash donations from itemizing and non-itemizing American households to U.S. education charities, including institutions of higher education, private K-12 schools, vocational schools, libraries, educational research and policy, and many other types of organizations serving educational purposes.

Giving to education is predicted to increase by 5.1% in 2020 and by 5.5% in 2021.xii

The projections for giving to education in 2020 and 2021 are higher than the historical 10-year, 25-year, and 40-year annualized average growth rate for giving of this type.20

Specific factors that will significantly and positively influence education giving in 2020 and 2021 include:xiii

  • Average growth in personal consumption in the preceding years,
  • Average growth in GDP, and
  • Average growth in consumer expenditures on health in the preceding years.

These factors will account for the majority of the predicted growth in giving to education in these years. However, average growth in consumer expenditures on recreation and average growth in consumer expenditures on nonprofit services will temper these positive effects.

  • xii All growth rates are based on predictions for giving in inflation-adjusted 2018 dollars using 2019 as the base year. The Philanthropy Outlook projects the growth rates of variables into 2020 and 2021; predicted growth rates are compared with the variables’ historical 10-, 25-, and 40-year annualized means. See Table 1 for these data.
  • xiii For the definition of these variables and their sources, see the “Variable Definitions and Sources” list in the Guide to the Philanthropy Outlook model at The Guide to the Philanthropy Outlook model also includes a full list of the variables tested and included in each model, as well as information about the stability of the variables.