Giving to Health


5.2 %


4.4 %

Giving to health includes cash and non-cash donations from itemizing and non-itemizing American households to U.S. health charities, including nonprofit community health centers, hospitals, and nursing homes; organizations focused on the treatment and/or cure of specific diseases; emergency medical services; wellness and health promotion; mental healthcare; health research; and other types of health organizations.

Giving to health is predicted to increase by 5.2% in 2019 and by 4.4% in 2020.xvi

The current projections for giving to health in 2019 and 2020 are higher than the historical 10-year, 25-year, and 40-year annualized average rates of growth for giving of this type.43

Specific factors that will significantly and positively influence health giving in 2019 and 2020 include:

  • Growth in GDP
  • Close-to-average growth in household and nonprofit net worth,
  • Growth in consumer expenditures on healthcare services,
  • Growth in consumer expenditures on nursery to high school education, and
  • Growth in consumer expenditures on education services in the preceding years.

These factors will account for the majority of the predicted growth in giving to health in these years.

However, above-average growth in consumer expenditures on pharmaceuticals and growth in consumer expenditures on nonprofit services in the preceding and projected years will temper these positive effects.44

  • xvi All growth rates are based on predictions for giving in inflation-adjusted 2017 dollars using 2018 as the base year. The Philanthropy Outlook projects the growth rates of variables into 2019 and 2020; predicted growth rates are compared with the variables’ historical 10-, 25-, and 40-year annualized means. See Table 1 for these data.