Giving by Individuals / Households


4.4 %


4.7 %

Giving by individuals/households includes cash and non-cash donations to U.S. charities contributed by all American individuals and households—including those who itemize their charitable contributions on their income taxes and those who do not.

Giving by American individuals/households is predicted to increase by 4.4% in 2020 and by 4.7% in 2021.iii

The projection for giving by individuals/households in 2020 and 2021 is expected to surpass the historical 10-year, 25-year, and 40-year annualized average
growth rates.9

Contributions from itemizing households and non-itemizing households are included in the forecasts for individual/household giving for the years 2020 and 2021.10

Specific factors that will significantly and positively influence individual/household giving in 2020 and 2021 include:iv

  • Average growth in consumption in the preceding years,
  • Average growth in personal income in the preceding years, and
  • Above average growth in S&P 500 in the present and preceding years.
  • A large body of work demonstrates, with few exceptions, the link between household income and wealth and philanthropic giving.11 In general, as income and wealth increase, so do the amounts that households give to charity. Growth in the S&P 500 is also associated with growth in giving by individuals.

Personal consumption, the amount expended by consumers for goods and services, is associated with households’ long-term financial stability and has historically been correlated with giving by individuals.12

  • iii 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.
  • iv 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 also includes information about the stability of the variables.