The nonprofit sector is said to be the third-largest employer in the United States. Many people may be surprised that an industry of charities could make enough to employ that many people. However, with over 1.7 million active nonprofits, the number of employees shouldn’t be a surprise.
The nonprofit industry has many surprising statistics that may open people’s eyes to the growth of specific industries, giving tendencies of generations, and where the future of nonprofits is headed.
The following important stats may help your organization find the right target market and the best way to reach them.
- Charitable Giving Statistics
- Income (AGI Based) Statistics
- Generational Statistics
- Industry-Based Fundraising and Giving Statistics
- Online and Mobile Giving Statistics
- Volunteering Statistics
- Corporate Giving Statistics
1. Charitable Giving Statistics
Charitable giving can feel like a guessing game, and too often, that is precisely what nonprofits do when developing campaigns and communicating with donors.
1.1 These statistics can help your nonprofit develop a roadmap and fundraising plan.
- Since 1977, charitable giving has increased every year except in 1987, 2008, and 2009.
- 2019 was one of the highest years for charitable giving in the US. It amounted to $449.64 billion.
- Charitable giving by foundations has grown by 17% from 2020 to 2021 in the US. In 2022, it was estimated to surpass $100 billion.
- 60% of all American households participate in some kind of charitable giving.
1.2 America’s generosity has continued even during the pandemic.
- In 2021, the average gift amount increased 10% to $813.
- In 2020, the average gift increased from $617 to $737.
1.3 Some other interesting charitable giving stats include –
- According to the IRS, the most charitable people in the US live in Utah. The other top 10 states comprise Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina, Idaho, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and North Carolina.
- Nonprofits with monthly recurring programs receive an average of $52 every month.
- Monthly recurring donors give 42% more than one-time donors.
So, if you’re concerned about whether people are still giving, rest assured they are.
2. Income (AGI Based) Statistics
The breakdown of how individuals are giving according to their income can be fascinating. The following statistics can help give your organization an overview of who you should target and how much you can solicit from your donors.
2.1 When it comes to Average Gross Income (AGI) –
- People making less than $50,000 per year are the second highest givers.
- People making between $100,000 and $500,000 are the least in charitable giving in terms of their income percentage.
- Higher-income individuals give an average of $29,269.
- People earning less than $15,000 made an average charitable donation of $1,471 and this must not be ignored.
2.2 Charitable deduction as percentage of AGI:
- under $50,000 8.4%
- $50,000 – $100,000 4.5%
- $100,000 – $500,000 2.9%
- $500,000 – 2 million 3.1%
- 2 million to 10 million 4.4%
- 10 million or more 9.3%
3. Generational Statistics
Now that we know what people give according to income, we also need to address generational differences. Once again, the statistics may surprise you.
3.1 Gen Z
Gen Zs will represent 82 million people in the US by 2026 (the largest generation) and they’re considered the tech-addicted social justice warriors. Some interesting facts about them include –
- Gen Zs relate to social issues the most.
- They deeply care about full equality.
- Gen Zs are moved by an organization’s narrative.
- Cross-sector collaboration is a must to draw this generation’s attention.
A nonprofit should target this generation because of potential success in finding passionate advocates, volunteers, influencers, and donors.
You’ve likely heard that younger generations give less, but that depends on how you look at it.
- 84% of Millennials donated to charities in 2021.
- The average gift size for Millennials is $481.
- Millennials make up 5 to 10% of donors for a charity.
- Millennials prefer to donate online.
- 40% of recurring millennial donors donate online through monthly deductions to their credit/debit cards.
- 55% of millennials attend fundraising events.
- 46% of them have been found donating to crowdfunding campaigns.
Areas of interest:
- Local places of worship
- Human Rights
- International Affairs
The amount of gifts for this generation is lower than for older generations, but the number of donors coming from this age group is clearly significant.
Millennial donors are more likely to use mobile devices for research, donating, and advocating for a cause. To reach this generation, you’ll want to look at including digital wallet apps like Venmo, Apple Pay, Google Pay, etc.
Donorbox UltraSwift™ Pay makes giving a breeze for your donors. It eliminates the need for them to input their personal details and lets you use the power of digital wallets to make the donation process fast, secure, and convenient.
3.3 Gen X
The Gen X generation has fewer people, and 59% of them donate. This may discourage you from focusing on this population, but that would be a mistake.
- Gen X donors are more likely to volunteer and start a fundraising campaign.
- 64% volunteer at local nonprofits and 8% at international ones.
- The average annual donation from Gen X donors is $732.
- Email is the best way to reach Gen Xers.
This generation of donors should be your best choice for crowdfunding and peer-to-peer fundraising. Convince 1 donor to start a campaign that reaches 10 of their friends and you could raise over $7,000.
Areas of interest:
- Local social and human service nonprofits
- Local places of worship
3.4 Baby boomers
Boomers provide 43% of all donations. The Boomer generation has dominated most industries for years due to their size. Nonprofits are no different.
- 72% of boomers donate annually, which makes them a force to be reckoned with.
- Baby boomers represent 51 million donors in the US.
- Boomer donors give an average annual gift of $1,212.
- 71% of baby boomers volunteer locally.
Areas of interest:
- Local social services nonprofits
- Human rights
- International affairs
- Local places of worship
3.5 Silent generation
The silent generation makes up only 11% of the US population but their average annual gift of $1,367 still significantly impacts the nonprofit sector.
- 88% of the silent generation gives to charity.
- 26% of nonprofit revenue comes from the silent generation.
- This generation also called matures, represents 27 million donors in the US.
- They are most likely to make in-kind donations.
Areas of interest:
- Local social services
- Emergency and disaster relief
- Local places of worship
Your organization can strengthen relations with these donors by incorporating planned giving.
4. Industry-Based Fundraising & Giving Statistics
Next, we’ll take a closer look at how donors are giving to different nonprofit industries such as religious, school, homeless, food-related, etc.
Religious organizations receive the most share of charitable donations. 32% of all US donations are made either to a local place of worship or to a faith-based nonprofit.
4.1.1 When it comes to Christian faiths –
- Mormons donate more than all the others.
- Christians give 2.5% of their income to churches.
- During the Great Depression, Christian giving had risen to 3.3% of their income (to churches).
4.1.2 Outside of the Christian faith –
- Jewish donors give more than all other religious groups.
- Jewish donors also give more to outside-religious organizations compared to others. Their average annual donation amounts to $2,526.
- Muslims make an average of $1,178 annual donations.
4.1.3 About church or faith-based donations –
- An American makes an average of $17 weekly donation to their local place of worship.
- Church weekly giving has dropped by 1% since the Great Depression.
- 75% of non-religious people in the US prefer to donate to charities, many of which are faith-based nonprofits.
- 17% of Americans say that they regularly tithe.
- 60% of people in the US want to give to their church online.
4.1.4 Religious organizations –
- Receive 1/3rd of all annual monetary donations in the US.
- As per the IRS tax returns data, they received $128.17 billion in 2020.
4.2 Human services
Some interesting facts and data about human services giving include –
- 12% of all donations come to human services charities.
- Donations to these charities have increased by 5.1%.
- This industry of nonprofits receives the 3rd largest share of donations in the US.
- Gen Xers are highly passionate about human services organizations.
- 52% of US donors prefer to donate food, clothing, and other in-kind items.
- Food collection and distribution remains the top national volunteer activity in the US.
14% of all donations go to education nonprofits in the US. It remains one of the top 5 issues receiving the most donations in the country.
Other education-based giving stats include the following –
- 29% of corporate donations go to education-based causes.
- 26% of volunteer activities in the US are dedicated to educational nonprofits.
- A school usually receives an average of $5000 donations per year.
- K-12 school fundraising has dropped by 4.6%.
- School groups are said to raise $1.5 billion in funds/year by selling products.
- Online donations to higher education organizations rose by 10% in 2020.
4.4 Environmental and animal
Environmental or animal-based charities receive about 3% of all donations in the US. These remain one of the top 5 most discussed issues in the country.
- 57% of online revenue for animal welfare organizations is driven by email fundraising.
- Gen X and baby boomers prefer to donate to animal charities.
- Online donations for environmental nonprofits have increased by 34%.
- 88% of millennials love to make a positive impact on the environment.
5. Online & Mobile Giving Statistics
Younger donors have shown a great interest in online giving. Whether through online campaigns, virtual events, or email marketing, online giving is quickly growing.
- In 2020, online giving grew to become 13% of all charitable giving.
- In 2021, that number increased another 9%, which gives a total increase of 42% over three years.
The following statistics show the impact of online fundraising.
- The average online donation is $177
- Video appeals raise 150% more than those without.
- Updates every 5 days to a crowdfunding campaign result in 3 times more donations.
- Online recurring donation options have boosted the monthly giving revenue by 40%.
- Branded donation pages on a nonprofit website raise 6 times more money.
- Faith-based nonprofits receive the largest amount of Giving Tuesday online donations.
- 51% of wealthy donors prefer to donate online.
- 55% of millennials prefer to give online via credit/debit cards.
Important mobile giving statistics –
- 28% of online contributions are made from mobile devices.
- The number of donation transactions completed through mobile devices increased by 50%.
- The average mobile donation is $79.
- Half of the nonprofit website traffic comes from mobile devices.
- 17% of crowdfunding donations come from mobile devices.
- 17% of views on online donation forms are on mobile devices.
- Millennials and Gen Zs are the most inclined to donate on mobile devices.
6. Volunteering Statistics
The Boomer generation has volunteered in large numbers through the years, but the pandemic has hit nonprofits hard. Fewer older donors were willing to risk volunteering in 2020 and 2021. The following statistics show how these numbers have changed in recent years.
6.1 Overall Volunteering rates (Philanthropy News Digest) –
- 2013 65%
- 2017 64%
- 2020 58%
- 2021 56%
6.2 Volunteering rates among higher-income donors –
- 2017 76%
- 2020 75%
- 2021 68%
6.3 Volunteering rates among middle-income donors –
- 2017 71%
- 2020 58%
- 2021 59%
6.4 Volunteering rates among lower-income donors –
- 2017 49%
- 2020 44%
- 2021 42%
6.5 Other noteworthy volunteering statistics include –
- 30% of the adult population in the US volunteer.
- The weekly average volunteer hours in the US is 3.5 hours.
- US volunteers are mostly younger, female, and high-educated.
- Generally, baby boomers volunteer the most.
- In 2020, however, younger Gen X and older millennial females volunteered the most.
6.6 The following trends give nonprofits a better look at new volunteer demographics.
- Age between 35 and 44
- Secondary or higher education
- With children under 18
7. Corporate Giving Statistics
20 percent of nonprofit donations come from corporations.
During the pandemic, that number dropped even more –
- Corporate donations decreased by 6% in 2020.
- Corporations gave $24.8 billion in 2020.
- Pfizer came out to be the most charitable company in the US. Others in the top 5 were Google, Walmart, Merck and Company, Gilead Sciences.
- Kroger was the best corporation (according to Double the Donation) for giving to churches and religious nonprofits.
General corporate philanthropy stats –
- 40% of fortune 500 companies offer volunteer grant programs.
- About $2 – $3 billion is given from companies to matching gift programs.
- 29% of corporate giving goes to education nonprofits, 25% to health and social services, and 15% to community and economic development.
- 26 million+ people work in companies with matching gift programs.
- $6 – $10 billion matching gift program funds go unclaimed every year.
- Only 1.31% of individual donations to an average nonprofit are matched.
Demographics, religion, and annual income can all play a part in why donors give. These statistics can help nonprofits determine which groups best fit their donor base, how they should be communicating, and what are the best ways to fundraise. We also have another article discussing year-end giving statistics to help you make smart and informed strategies for the giving season!
For more blogs, guides, tips, and free resources, check the Donorbox Nonprofit Blog. Subscribe to our newsletter to have a list of our best resources delivered to your inbox every month.
Donorbox can help nonprofits collect donor information, segment their donors, and note communication details to create donor management plans for each type of donor. Learn more about our Donor Management feature here.
Donorbox also helps nonprofits of all types raise funds online with simple-to-use, affordable, and powerful fundraising features including Crowdfunding, Peer-to-Peer fundraising, Text-to-Give, Memberships, Events, Recurring Donation Forms, Customizable Donation Pages, and more.