New Study Predicts Increases in Charitable Giving in Each of Next Two Years

Lilly Family School of Philanthropy & Marts & Lundy

The Philanthropy Outlook 2020 & 2021 from Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, Marts & Lundy Projects Solid Growth in Individual, Foundation and Bequest Giving

Total U.S. charitable giving is projected to grow by 4.8% this year and by 5.1% in 2021, according to The Philanthropy Outlook 2020 & 2021 released today. The report is researched and written by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI and presented by Marts & Lundy, a leading strategic fundraising consulting firm.

“Our research indicates that if U.S. economic growth remains steady, 2020 and 2021 are likely to be good years for charitable giving overall. The estimates for this year and next year anticipate solid growth in most sources of giving,” said Una Osili, Ph.D., an economist who is associate dean for research and international programs at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. “If the U.S. economy continues to be strong, we expect that charitable giving will also follow this trend, even recognizing that there may be more uncertainty in the global economy.”

The Philanthropy Outlook estimates are produced using recent economic data and rigorous analysis that takes into account factors that will affect charitable giving. The outlook develops projections for total giving, giving by source and giving to three types of recipient nonprofits (education, health and public-society benefit organizations) and describes how different economic variables and other factors will impact giving in 2020 and 2021. The report examines the environment for philanthropy and long-term trends that may have an impact on giving.

“Philanthropy, as we’ve come to know it, is shifting. Nonprofit leaders and donors alike need tools to understand what is happening, and how to adjust.” Said Phil Hills, president & CEO, senior consultant & principal of Marts & Lundy. “The Philanthropy Outlook’s projections provide a framework for an examination of issues we know influence giving and brings us closer to untangling what continues to be the most complex years in recent memory.”

The study’s key findings include:

  • Total charitable giving is projected to grow (4.8% in 2020 and 5.1% in 2021).
  • Giving by individuals is projected to have solid growth of 4.4% in 2020 and 4.7% in 2021, only slightly below the rate of growth for total giving.
  • Giving by foundations (6.3% in 2020 and 6.6% in 2021) and giving by estates (6.6% in 2020 and 6.5% in 2021) are expected to post strong growth for the next two years and contribute to the anticipated healthy growth in overall giving.
  • Giving by corporations is expected to be more tepid (0.4% in 2020 and by 1.4% in 2021).

The Philanthropy Outlook also produces estimates for education, health, and public-society benefit organizations. Robust growth is estimated for education (5.1% in 2020 and 5.5% in 2021), health (7.9% in 2020 and 7.3% in 2021), and public-society benefit organizations (5.1% in 2020 and 5.0% in 2021).

Donors, fundraising professionals and policy makers need rigorous data and reliable information to help them plan for the future, such as that provided by The Philanthropy Outlook. In recent years, The Philanthropy Outlook report also has provided additional insights that help inform professional practice.

This edition of the report presents a “stress test” for 2020 and 2021, using characteristics similar to those experienced during the Great Recession of 2007-09, to see how charitable giving would change as compared with The Philanthropy Outlook 2020 & 2021 results. The point of the stress test is not to predict the likelihood, length, or severity of a potential recession–rather, much like the Dodd-Frank Act Stress Test (DFAST) for banks, The Philanthropy Outlook stress test analysis gives nonprofits and fundraisers an opportunity to consider how their organizations might fare under severely adverse conditions, and to identify areas to strengthen and improve for long-term stability, enabling them to plan ahead for possible future downturns while economic times are good.

View the full report »

About the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy
The Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI is dedicated to improving philanthropy to improve the world by training and empowering students and professionals to be innovators and leaders who create positive and lasting change. The school offers a comprehensive approach to philanthropy through its academic, research and international programs and through The Fund Raising School, Lake Institute on Faith & Giving, the Mays Family Institute on Diverse Philanthropy and the Women’s Philanthropy Institute. Follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram, and “Like” us on Facebook.

About Marts & Lundy
Marts & Lundy is the one of the world’s most innovative and successful strategic fundraising consulting firms. With offices in America, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom, Marts & Lundy offers the world’s best-known philanthropic organizations an unparalleled depth of expertise and breadth of perspective on philanthropy. Since 1926, the firm has served thousands of mission-driven organizations with annual giving and campaign strategies that generate hundreds of thousands to several billion dollars. Founded in the belief that philanthropy has the power to transform not only institutions but, more importantly, the world, Marts & Lundy remains steadfastly committed to contributing innovative thinking and thought leadership to philanthropy. Visit our website. Follow us on Twitter @MrtsAndLndy and on LinkedIn and Facebook.

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