If you are reading this, odds are you a generous person! So, it might surprise you to know that charitable giving by individuals in the U.S. has been stuck at around 2 percent of income for the last 50 years.
That means someone with an average income of around $50,000, for example, donates about $1,000 annually to charity – or the equivalent of $2.74 per day. Millennials may spend double that on coffee drinks in a year. Kind of makes you think, doesn’t it? Can you imagine the difference an extra $2-3 per day could make to help those in need.
Giving USA™: The Annual Report on Philanthropy reports individual giving as a percentage of disposable personal income was 1.9 percent in 2019 —the same as in 2018. Over the past 50 years, individual giving peaked at 2.4 percent in 2005. It was the lowest in 1995, dropping to 1.7 percent. Personal giving levels have been hovering around 2 percent for decades.
Even as low as 2 percent, giving trends seem to be heading in the wrong direction.
The Generosity Commission reports there are 20 million fewer American households donating to charities today compared to those who gave in 2000. In 2015—before recent tax law changes—only 24 percent of taxpayers reported a charitable gift, compared to 30 percent a decade earlier. With fewer households itemizing, personal giving rates may further decline.
According to Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy’s Changes to the Giving Landscape, since the Great Recession, there has been a consistent decline of over 13 percentage points in the share of households who gave in 2016 compared to 2000. A related finding in their research shows an average $180 decline in the overall giving amount per household, adjusted for inflation – or about an 11% decrease in giving.
Why is Charitable Giving stuck?
When was the last time you were moved by a quarterly form letter from a nonprofit soliciting a donation? Even for a worthy cause, do you take the time to write a check and mail it in? What about the next generation? Checkbooks? Postage stamps? How do know you are making an impact in this world?
Traditional donors like Baby Boomers have given steadily in the past, but they are aging and living increasingly on fixed incomes. Gen X, on the other hand, is entering their prime giving years when they begin to have more disposable income to share, but many haven’t actively practiced generosity like the generation before them. Millennials are in a life stage focused on career and family, not to mention the lingering effects of entering the workforce during economic uncertainty. Gen Zers don’t yet have the financial means to give in big ways even though they are mobilizing in other ways.
Now, add a global pandemic to the mix. More people are out of work and seeking a hand up, an already vulnerable population needs help and many nonprofits are struggling to make ends meet. It’s the perfect storm.
Our Uncommon Mission: Awaken generosity and increase charitable giving!
What if we helped bring back charitable givers that were lost after the Great Recession or during the COVID-19 pandemic? Can you imagine if giving levels increased even by one-half percent? That could equate to billions of dollars helping those in need, on a regular basis.
The income disparity in the U.S. is staggering, and there is a large segment of the U.S. population that is still thriving financially. What if we could match people with money with those who need it? Surely when good-hearted people see how their gift helps others, they would donate $10, $20, $50 or even $100 for an impassioned cause?
We believe most people are empathic and want to serve others, they simply don’t know where to start. (Lightbulb!) What if we could connect big-hearted people who have the means to give – even $10 to spare – with hardworking nonprofits that know best how to affect change in their local communities? What if you could discover and give to more than 1.2 million nonprofits with few clicks on your keyboard or mobile device? And, what if you could see the impact of your personal generosity and feel connected to a cause so much that you want to give again and again?
Our Big Idea: Connect the heart to the wallet. That’s how Uncommon Giving was born.
Uncommon Giving is an online community connecting givers and nonprofits to do good, differently. We are passionate about serving those in need and want to help people discover ways to give their time, talent, treasure, testimony and thanks.
Learn How Uncommon Giving Works and Start Your Generous Journey
- Discover nonprofits, explore causes and learn about UGIV Funds
- Donate securely from a digital giving wallet, a donor-advised fund for everyone
- Browse and favorite nonprofits or causes in your personal Generosity Feed
We’re excited to tell you more about the Uncommon Giving platform and how it will help you help others.
Join Uncommon Giving today! Let’s awaken generosity and change the world, together!