Charitable Giving Facts

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People are generous. In fact, one of the most astounding charitable giving facts is that more than 95 percent of people participate in charitable giving.

Giving a financial donation to a cause you believe in is an easy and effective way to show your support. And the facts about charitable giving show that it is a growing trend.

People give to charity for many reasons, and now more than ever before people are giving generous donations to causes they believe in.

The top five reasons why people give to charity include:

  • helping meet critical, basic needs
  • giving back to society to help improve their communities
  • to have a specific impact or bring about a desired result
  • to live out the belief that those with more should help those with less
  • responding to a request for money

Despite the growth in charitable giving and easy access to solid research and information for making informed giving decisions, many people still feel a certain amount of distrust in how their money will be handled.

When you donate through Compassion, you can be confident that your money will be used to further programs that transform the lives of children living in extreme poverty. We have been a trusted charity of donors since 1952, handling our finances with integrity and governing our spending wisely so millions of babies, children and young adults around the world can be released from poverty in Jesus’ name.

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A girl holding a bible standing in front of a pink wall
Brothers sitting on a door step

The facts about charitable giving

    • The average age of a donor in the U.S. is 62. 1
    • Total giving to charitable organizations increased to $390.05 billion in 2016. 2
    • Historically, charitable giving rises about one-third as fast as the stock market. 3
    • Almost half of U.S. donors (47 percent) give money to three to five organizations, and 15 percent give to six or more. 4
    • Thirty-two percent of all charitable dollars went to religion in 2016, more than double any other charitable sector. 2
    • In 2016, the largest source of charitable giving came from individuals at $281.86 billion, or 72 percent of total giving; followed by foundations (15 percent), bequests (8 percent), and corporations (5 percent). 2
    • About 7.2 percent of overall fundraising revenue, excluding grants, was raised online. 1
    • Online giving grew 7.9 percent in 2016. 1
    • The average online donation amount in 2016 was $128. 1
    • Of all online donations in 2016, 10 percent were $1,000 or more. 1
    • In 2016, 17 percent of online transactions were made using a mobile device. 1
    • December remains the largest giving month of the year followed by June. 1
    • Online giving in December increased for the second consecutive year and represented 21.8% of all online giving. 1

How Do the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Relate to Compassion?

Students looking through window and smilingThe UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) directly parallel what Compassion does. But when it comes to goals and implementation we sometimes take a different approach. This is a quick analysis of the SDGs and how they most closely match our work, along with ways they overlap and differ.

Learn More >

Sources:

1Blackbaud 2016 Charitable Giving Report

2Giving USA 2017

3The Foundation Center

4Gallup, Charitable Giving: Donors Focus On One or Two Organizations, June 14, 2016.