Charitable Donors in U.S. Give Record Amount, As Support Surges in First 6 Months of 2020

Donations surged nearly 50% in the first half of 2020—the most generous giving recorded in the history of one of America’s largest philanthropic funds.

In response to the immense needs created by the COVID-19 pandemic, a resulting economic downturn and a period of deep social unrest, Schwab Charitable donors have been granting at a record pace to support impacted communities.

From January through June 2020, donors earmarked over $1.7 billion in aid, marking a 46% increase in dollars granted compared to the same period last year. They doled out 330,000 separate grants, which represents the fastest pace of growth in Schwab Charitable history.

“The last six months have been incredibly challenging, and I am truly inspired to see donors utilize their donor-advised funds to help communities and nonprofits impacted by health, economic, and social crises,” says Kim Laughton, President of Schwab Charitable.

Dave D., who manages his charitable giving through the company, said, “The need within our country and around the world is greater than ever. Basic needs have dramatically increased, so to help provide some relief, we are giving more to our local food bank, church food pantry, and homeless shelters.”

In addition to supporting crisis relief efforts in fiscal year 2020, donors continued to express broad-based generosity in support of their favorite nonprofits.

In the last twelve months, Schwab noted that each generation—Millennials, Generation X, Baby Boomers, and the Greatest Generation—saw an uptick in giving from the previous year, granting on average between 7 and 13 times throughout the year.

Donors fulfill a variety of philanthropic goals with their giving, and in fiscal year 2020, donors supported more than 100,000 charities, a 14% increase over the prior fiscal year.

The most widely supported charities in fiscal year 2020 included Feeding America, Doctors Without Borders, the Salvation Army, and Planned Parenthood.

“It is very encouraging to witness heightened levels of generosity from donors of all ages in supporting nonprofits across the philanthropic landscape this year,” added Laughton, in a media release.