Donor Giving Projected to Grow in 2024 and 2025

After two years of stagnant giving, two recent studies paint a more positive picture for philanthropy this year and next.

By Jessica Browning, MBA

The Philanthropy Outlook 2024 & 2025, researched and written by the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and released in March 2024, predicts 4.2 percent growth in giving in inflation-adjusted dollars this year and another 3.9 percent increase in 2025.

“This is fantastic news,” says Jim Bush, Winkler Group President and Principal. “I hope organizations take these projections to heart because donors are signaling their intent to give. We encourage organizations to embrace this sense of urgency and donor optimism and build relationships with their donors—the investors that make it possible to advance their missions.”

The Lilly Family School of Philanthropy based its projections on above-average growth in last year’s S&P 500. Philanthropic giving is closely correlated with stock market performance as measured by the S&P 500 performance.

Giving by individuals—the largest source of philanthropic gifts—is expected to rise 2.6 percent in 2024 and 3.4 percent in 2025. These projections are based on the average growth in personal income and net worth as well as an above-average growth in consumer sentiment.

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Source: Dunham + Company

The 2024 Donor Confidence Study, released by Dunham + Company, provides even more optimism. The study found the percentage of donors who intend to give in 2024 is eight points higher than donors who intended to give in 2023; 78 percent of those interviewed said they would give the same or more in 2024—an increase of eight points over 2023. The percentage of donors who see the economy as staying the same or improving in 2024 rose six points over 2023.

These reports are welcome news after stagnant giving in 2022 and 2023. Giving last year was marred by fears of a recession, which never materialized. Instead, the stock market saw record gains. In 2023, the S&P 500 rose 24.3 percent. The US real gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to grow 2.4 percent this year, while unemployment is at historic lows. As donors feel more economically secure, they are more likely to give to nonprofit organizations and institutions.

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Source: Dunham + Company
What is your organization doing to leverage this projected growth in giving? 

If you’ve been considering a capital campaign, connect with one of our consultants to identify strategies that will help you leverage this positive giving environment.

About the Author

Written by Jessica Browning, with input from the entire Winkler Group team. Jessica Browning serves as Winkler Group Principal and Executive Vice President and is a former member of the Giving USA Editorial Review Board. She received a B.A. from Duke University and an M.A. and M.B.A from the College of William & Mary. Connect with Jessica on LinkedIn.

References

Dunham + Company. (2024). Donor confidence shows resilience in the face of economic headwinds. https://www.dunhamandcompany.com/fundraising-research/donor-behavior-amidst-economic-uncertainty/

Goodkind, N. (2024, March 1). The US economy is so strong that there might not be any rate cuts in 2024. CNN. https://www.cnn.com/2024/03/01/investing/the-fed-may-not-cut-rates-this-year/index.html

Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. (2024). The Philanthropy Outlook 2024-2025 Report. In IUPUI ScholarWorks. https://scholarworks.iupui.edu/items/499ae1f5-c885-4aa3-aa49-1f27534dd096

Subin, S., & Min, S. (2024, March 20). Dow rises 400 points to record close after Fed says 3 rate cuts are on the way: Live updates. CNBC. https://www.cnbc.com/2024/03/19/stock-market-today-live-updates.html

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