Skip to main content

Giving USA 2016 Trends

The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2016 was released by the IUPUI Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. Here are some excellent gains in the areas of education, human services, health and arts/culture/humanities.


● There was a 3.6% increase in education giving last year, bringing this sector to 15% of total philanthropic gifts. 

● The biggest gains were in multi-million-dollar gifts for large organizations, bringing a big focus to stewardship efforts. 

● Giving days and crowdfunding were important with younger donors, but millennials were still hard to engage in this sector. 

● Community colleges saw bumps in giving this year due to more attention to university systems. Medical research and public health programs also received more gifts this year. 

Human Services 

● There was a 4% increase in giving to human services last year, bringing this sector to 12% of total philanthropic gifts. 

● 67% of nonprofits in this sector saw increases in 2016.

● Projects that received particular attention were services for veterans, reducing homelessness and hunger, and disaster-recovery. 


● There was a 5.7% increase in healthcare giving last year, bringing this sector to 8% of total philanthropic gifts. After a decline in 2011, giving has been strong for the past five years. 

● The largest interest was in funding collaborative projects that focused on change at the healthcare system level. 

● Online giving was strong with repeat and retained donors. 

● Medical research drew big dollars, particularly when it grabbed media attention. 

● Charity runs and walks and other peer-to-peer efforts have been less successful of late.


● There was a 6.4% increase in arts, culture and humanities giving last year, bringing this sector to 5% of total philanthropic gifts. 

● Multi-million-dollar capital campaigns, especially for museums, met or exceeded expectations this year. 

● Online giving was popular, but maintaining print mail and phone contact increased giving. 

More information about Giving USA 2017 can be found here.

Subscribe today to get the latest industry news, resources, and career opportunities.