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What does Giving USA do?

Who purchases Giving USA? And why should I purchase it?

Giving USA: The Annual Report on Philanthropy is the seminal publication reporting on the sources and uses of charitable giving in the United States. For 57 years, fundraisers, nonprofit leaders, donors and volunteers, scholars, and other individuals who work in or with the charitable sector have counted on Giving USA to provide the most comprehensive charitable giving data available. No other source provides the context for annual giving like Giving USA.

Subscribers to Giving USA's research include heads and staff of nonprofit organizations, development officers, advisers to individuals, corporations, and foundations, and libraries, to name a few. Scholars researching philanthropy and the nonprofit sector at both the undergraduate and graduate levels also find Giving USA to be an invaluable tool. Faculty members teaching about the nonprofit sector in the United States often assign Giving USA publications in their classes. International researchers use Giving USA to develop comparative data.

How can I use Giving USA?

Here are just a few of the myriad ways you can use our reports:

If you are with a nonprofit organization:

  • Train board members
  • Respond to media inquiries
  • Track reports about similar types of charities

If you are a donor (individual, corporation, or foundation):

  • Assist board of directors/family members in setting strategy
  • Help in identifying funding gaps
  • Learn about events and trends nationally, all in one place

If you are a scholar, government agency, or a member of the media:

  • Evaluate the importance of charitable giving to the social fabric of our country
  • Data and trend analysis are used to prepare reports, speeches, and news articles
  • Use Giving USA material in the classroom to teach about current trends in charitable giving, as well as historical trends.

Who produces Giving USA?

Giving USA is published by Giving USA Foundation, which is located in Chicago, Illinois. The report has been published annually since 1956 by either the Foundation or its founding organization, the former American Association of Fundraising Counsel (now The Giving Institute). Since 2001, the report has been researched and written by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, and since 2010, the School has managed all aspects of Giving USA reports.

Find answers to more of your questions in the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section on this website.

Brief Overview of Giving USA Methods

The Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy prepares all the estimates in Giving USA for Giving USA Foundation.  Together, these institutions are referred to here as “Giving USA.”

Giving USA annually calculates total U.S. giving by source, including giving by individuals, bequest, corporations, and foundations. Because Giving USA is national in scope, it is a “macroeconomic” study on charitable giving. These national estimates do not show changes any one organization or geographical region might observe—they calculate total giving by about 117 million households across America, approximately 12.4 million corporations that claim charitable deductions, an estimated 99,000 estates, and about 76,000 foundations. The donations go to about 1.1 million IRS-registered charities, plus a conservative estimate of 222,000 American religious organizations.

Giving USA also calculates giving amounts that go to 10 recipient type categories, or subsectors. These include giving to: religion, education, health, human services, arts/culture/humanities, environment/animals, international affairs, public-society benefit, foundations, and individuals.

Find answers to more of your questions about Giving USA's methodology  in the Methodology section on this website.