Giving Trends Insights


According to the report, 2020 saw an unprecedented philanthropic response as Americans gave more generously than they did pre-pandemic. Gratefully, this same trend was experienced throughout our diocese as our faith family came together to respond to the increased needs of the people of God and the ministries that serve them. 

Digging deeper into the data, the growth in giving was not able to keep pace with inflation which has challenged nonprofits across the country. The report shows an increase of charitable giving of 4% but in reality total giving was actually down after adjusting for inflation (although remaining higher than pre-pandemic levels). The post-pandemic environment with volatility in the stock market and job market continues to challenge the nonprofit sector to this day.

Giving to religion grew by 5.4% in contributions but was flat at .7% when adjusted for inflation. Giving by individuals increased in 2021 by 4.9% but stayed flat at .2% when also adjusted for inflation. Additionally, the trend of fewer individuals giving larger gifts continues. Giving by individuals has always represented the largest percent of all giving but for two decades, the nonprofit sector has seen a decline in the number of donors while the dollars contributed remains steady. 

Giving by foundations is the next largest piece of the pie chart with a slight increase of just over 3% in 2021, although with inflation adjustment it is a decrease of just over 1%. The Catholic Foundation has increased grantmaking contributions to support both parishes and schools as well as the professional development of Catholics serving our parishes and schools.

Giving USA also included a special report on Donor Advised Funds (DAFs) this year noting that DAFs are an increasingly prominent part of the philanthropic landscape. Contributions to and from DAFs continue to grow at impressive rates. Donors using DAFs reported that they gave in a more targeted way when giving with their DAFs, oftentimes in response to crises. The Catholic Foundation sees this trend with donors increasing gifts through their DAF grants and also transferring funds from one of their general market DAFs to our Catholic-compliant DAFs.

* Giving USA is an annual report published by The Giving USA Foundation with research and writing by the Indiana University Lilly School of Philanthropy.

Want to learn more about giving trends and charitable tools that you can use to make a greater impact?  Contact Madelyn Weed, Vice President of Donor Services, at (407) 246-7188.

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