Most Americans have donated their time and their money to social causes and charities in the last year, according to an Axios-SurveyMonkey poll on philanthropy that breaks down the most popular charitable giving causes.
The bottom line: Education tops the list of causes Americans have supported, followed by human services and health — but they give less to the arts and international affairs.
The big picture: Education is the top cause for both millennials (46%) and Gen X (42%). Gen Z supports health causes most (47%), while Boomers support religion (41%) more than other causes.
International affairs ranks last in giving for all age groups, with only 6% of Americans saying that they’ve donated to related causes in the last 12 months.A June report from Giving USA:
Amid a complex climate for charitable giving, American individuals, bequests, foundations and corporations gave an estimated $427.71 billion to U.S. charities in 2018, according to Giving USA 2019: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for theYear 2018.
Total charitable giving rose 0.7% measured in current dollars over the revised total of $424.74 billion contributed in 2017. Adjusted for inflation, total giving declined 1.7%. (Please see below for a more detailed breakdown of the numbers for each philanthropic source and sector.)
A number of competing factors in the economic and public policy environments may have affected donors’ decisions in 2018, shifting some previous giving patterns. Many economic variables that shape giving, such as personal income, had relatively strong growth, while the stock market decline in late 2018 may have had a dampening effect. The policy environment also likely influenced some donors’ behavior. One important shift in the 2018 giving landscape is the drop in the number of individuals and households who itemize various types of deductions on their tax returns. This shift came in response to the federal tax policy change that doubled the standard deduction. More than 45 million households itemized deductions in 2016. Numerous studies suggest that number may have dropped to approximately 16 to 20 million households in 2018, reducing an incentive for charitable giving.