Incubating and Mobilizing Social Impact Solutions


Social Enterprise News and Updates

The Importance of Charitable Giving

When talking about solving Social Issues poverty is only part of the equation. According to Charity Navigator, in the United States in 2015, $373 billion was given to charitable causes. For the second year in a row, total giving reached record levels, and taking 2014 and 2015 together, charitable giving has increased over 10% (using inflation-adjusted dollars). This increase and the overall size of charitable contributions is further testament to the integral role charities play in our society, a role, which continues to grow.

  • Giving to Education charities was up 8.9% to $57.48 billion.
  • Donations to Human Services charities were up 4.2% to $45.21 billion.
  • Foundations saw a decrease of 3.8% to $42.26 billion.
  • Health charities experienced an increase of 1.3% to $29.81 billion.
  • Charities that focus on the Environment / Animals saw an increase of 6.5% to $10.68 billion.
  • Public-Society Benefit charities saw an increase of 6.0% to $26.95 billion.
  • Arts, Culture and Humanities saw an increase of 7% to $17.07 billion.
  • Giving to International charities increased by 17.5% to $15.75 billion.

Historically, religious groups have received the largest share of charitable donations. This remained true in 2015, and the sector saw an increase for the second year in a row.  With the 2.7% increase in donations this year, 33% of all donations ($119.3 billion) went to religious organizations. Much of these contributions can be attributed to people giving to their local place of worship.

So, poverty is up AND giving is up. And, according to “” total welfare costs are also up! They have risen from $421 per person in 1960 to $16,497 per person in 2015.  That totals $65,497 for a family of four even though the Poverty Threshold for such a family is $24,257.

These are the driving numbers behind what we do. The different projects we take on all add into what we have learned and thought-up to be the solution!

Tammy Vallejo