About the Data
Corrections: When preparing to update the dashboard in November 2022, we discovered that some of our indicators were displaying incorrect or inconsistent data.
- For “Total annual value of noncash charitable contributions” and “Total US online donations made on GivingTuesday,” we mislabeled the unit type. We have changed the former from “millions of dollars ($)” to “billions of dollars ($)” and the latter from “dollar value of donations” to “number of donations.”
- For “Total hours volunteered,” we transposed two numbers for the 2015 data point. We have corrected 8.42987 billion to 8.49287 billion.
- For “Money donated to ActBlue,” we rounded two data points incorrectly (we have corrected 2019 from $1.05 billion to $1.06 billion, and 2020 from $4.02 billion to $4.03 billion). For “Share of Americans who reported donating money to a charitable organization in the last 12 months,” we rounded one data point incorrectly (we have corrected 2008 from 83 percent to 82 percent), and we have removed a data point (56 percent for the year 2014) not included in the source.
- Lastly, we removed the “Aggregate charitable contributions from workplace giving programs” indicator because it is not clear that the study will be repeated and we found the source reported its data inconsistently across publications.
Additionally, when preparing to update the dashboard in March 2023, we made changes to two indicators for clarity.
- For “Total number of donors that gave over $200 to a political campaign” and “Total money contributed to political campaigns via donations over $200,” we added the word “federal” to the chart titles.
Methodology: This dashboard synthesizes the most comprehensive, significant, and recent data available on giving from leading nonprofit researchers, practitioners and service providers, and some governmental sources. We conducted a landscape scan of giving data in the field and selected our indicators based on four core criteria: analytic rigor, salience, timeliness, and longitudinal availability.
For more information on our data sources, select an indicator to find a short summary of how it was calculated. For more detailed methodological information, you can click on the indicator’s original source to dive deeper into the data.
This tool is updated on a regular basis as new indicators and more recent data become available. We update past data for the following indicators annually, because our data source (Giving USA) revises its numbers each year as new data become available: “Total charitable contributions,” “Share of total charitable contributions made by individuals,” “Total charitable contributions made by individuals,” “Total giving by bequest,” and “Share of total charitable contributions given through bequests.” We also update past data for the following indicators annually, because our data source (the National Philanthropic Trust) revises its numbers each year as new data become available: “Total value of contributions made to DAFs” and “Total number of DAFs in the United States.”
In our November 29, 2022, update, we discovered that the methodology for three of our indicators had been updated or revised by the initial sources. For “Total value of contributions made to DAFs” and “Total number of DAFs in the United States,” we updated the 2017-2020 data. For “Donor retention rate,” we updated the 2016-2020 data.
In our March 2023 update, we removed the “Percentage change in number of online donations” and “Percentage change in individual donations made through electronic payments” indicators because it was not clear whether the study those data were based on would be continued, and we removed the “Total donated to charities from AmazonSmile” indicator because the AmazonSmile program ended in early 2023.
In our July 2023 update, we changed the data source behind our “Total dollars distributed to nonprofits from DAFs at community foundations” indicator from the Community Foundation Awareness Initiative to Candid’s Columbus Survey (which is now administered by the Council on Foundations and called the CF Insights Annual Survey) because it was not clear whether the former source’s survey would be continued. Additionally, for the “Total dollars pledged by federal employees through the Combined Federal Campaign” indicator, our data source for 2004–2015, the Office of Personnel Management, removed the data for those years from its website, so we have removed those years from this dashboard. OPM also added data for 2017–2022, so we have moved from our previous data source for those years, Workplace Giving Alliance, to the OPM data because the OPM runs the Combined Federal Campaign. Finally, we removed the “Participation rate of federal employees in the Combined Federal Campaign” indicator because our initial source (the Workplace Giving Alliance) stopped reporting those data.
In January 2024, we updated the data source from the GivingTuesday Giving Lab to the GivingTuesday Data Commons for the following indicators: share of charitable donations less than $5,001, share of Americans who gave time in the past year, share of Americans who gave money in the past year, and share of Americans who gave items in the past year; we updated the data source from the GivingTuesday Data Collaborative to the GivingTuesday Data Commons for the following indicators: total dollars donated in the United States on GivingTuesday, and total US online donations made on GivingTuesday.
To suggest a dataset for inclusion in the dashboard, email us at: [email protected].
This feature was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. We are grateful to them and to all our funders, who make it possible for Urban to advance its mission. The views expressed are those of the authors and should not be attributed to the Urban Institute, its trustees, or its funders. Funders do not determine research findings or the insights and recommendations of Urban experts. More information on our funding principles is available here. Read our terms of service here.