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Charitable Donation Statistics from 2016 [Infographic]

Posted by Ashley Shaw on 6/22/17 11:00 AM

charitable donation statistics from 2016.jpg

I've done a few infographics in the past about giving statistics in the US. But, guess what? Charity Navigator recently released even newer stats, and so I thought it was time for me to update all that old info I've been giving you. Right?

Charity Navigator

In case you didn't know, Charity Navigator is this cool nonprofit that helps evaluate other nonprofits so that donors know if an organization is a good place to donate their hard-earned money. It's a great resource for donors - but it's also a great place for you, the organizations looking for those donors.

Why Should You Care?

That's in part because you may want to make sure Charity Navigator is saying good things about you. But - and this is a more important part of today's post - it is also a good place to learn about charitable donation stats.

Who is donating? Where are they giving money? How much are they giving? Every year, Charity Navigator conducts a survey, in which they strive to answer that very question for the year before.

Knowing the answers to these questions is helpful in figuring out how to form your appeals and calls to action. Let's say, for example, that it turned out corporations were actually giving the most (Spoiler: they aren't really.).

If the majority of donors were actually companies, wouldn't it be a good idea to start appealing to companies more than individuals? (Remember how important it is to know who your donors are.)

It's also a good way to compare. Let's say you are a religious organization, and you had a tough year last year.

Was it the economy? Your industry? Or was it something you were doing wrong?

If total donations were down, then maybe it was just a bad year for everyone. If totals for all religious organizations were down, then it could be a sign that people are moving towards other types of charities.


If giving was up last year (it actually was) AND religious organizations were getting more than years past and more than any other type of organization (true and true), but your religious organization saw less donations than years past, then it may be a sign you should evaluate what you've been doing and adjust.

Charitable Donation Statistics from 2016: A Highlight

You can download the full report through Charity Navigator - which GiveSmart had nothing at all to do with, so this isn't some type of sales pitch or anything - from there site. But here are some highlights:

  • Donation totals were up once again in 2016.
  • In total, $390.05 BILLION was given in 2016.
  • Most of that mullah came from individuals, who gave $281.86 (which is 72%!)
  • Religious organizations got a whole 32% of that total - which is more than any other type of charity or charitable organization.
  • Other categories of charities who did well: education (15%), human services (12%), and foundations (10%).

Charitable Donation Statistics from 2016: An Infographic

Let's make those stats from above a little prettier. Here they are again, but this time, they are in a nice little infographic.


Giving Stats from 2016

The Usual Conclusion

Knowing the general stats of who is giving and where they are giving can be a good starting place when creating those much needed donor personas. So make sure you are keeping up with all the latest stats that could affect how you fundraise.

And to make it easier to keep up, make sure you sign up for our newsletter - where we talk about stats like these every month!

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Topics: Infographics

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