For the second consecutive year, the annual Giving USA report brings us very good news.
As you have probably seen by now, data from Giving USA 2016 reports that total giving grew by four percent in 2015 to more than $373 billion. Coupled with the six percent growth in 2014, total giving has increased by more than 10 percent over the last two years.
Those are numbers that would have been difficult to imagine even just a couple of years ago. But for the second consecutive year, giving has reached a new record high and far surpassed levels seen before the recession.
While not every organization has seen such tremendous growth in giving, the impact on the overall sector is undeniable. The sector, and all of philanthropy, is in much better shape than it was at the beginning of the decade and has recovered far more quickly than anyone expected.
Nevertheless, challenges remain. Despite the increases over the past two years, giving has remained at about two percent of Gross Domestic Product, as it has for most of the past 50 years. It is a reminder that we have a ways to go to reach giving levels that will allow us to not just ameliorate, but solve the problems we face today.
There is also concern that giving this year may drop. The rate of giving in 2015 was lower than in 2014, and some experts see an even greater drop this year, especially as we head into the latter part of 2016.
We will need to use all of our accumulated fundraising knowledge and skills to ensure we have another successful year in 2016. And Giving USA 2016 is a great resource to use. Not only does it have year-by-year statistics, but contains a variety of great information about giving and highlights key trends you can use in your own fundraising efforts.
AFP members get a 30 percent discount off of Giving USA products. You can find the discount code here on the AFP website, along with more resources and perspective about the latest giving numbers.