Education & Not-Profit Sector

Industry Overview

Charitable giving by individuals, bequests, foundations and corporations to U.S. charities surged to an estimated $410.02 billion in 2017 according to Giving USA. Giving USA, is the longest-running and most comprehensive report of its kind in America, is published by Giving USA Foundation, a public service initiative of The Giving Institute. Factors that influence giving include economic growth, stock markets, tax policy, natural and man man-made emergencies and most importantly outpouring of human good will.

Giving in USA

The sources of giving are primarily divided into four categories. Giving from all four sources grew in 2017, driven by economic conditions.

 Giving SourceAmount ($ Billion)Growth (%)

Source : Foundation Center


Charitable subsectors receiving contributions generally experienced strong growth with seven of the nine types showing growth of more than 5%. This suggests that charities are connecting effectively with their donors and demonstrating their impact and case for support and cultivating and nurturing strong, ongoing relationships with donors will only become more important going ahead.

Additionally giving to individuals is $ 7.87 Billion that consist of donations, in-kind gifts of medications to patients in need, made through the patient assistance programs of pharmaceutical companies’ operating foundations. Unallocated giving was negative $2.24 billion in 2017. This amount can be considered the difference between giving by source and use in a particular year. It includes the difference between itemized deductions by individuals (and households) carried over from previous years. The tax year in which a gift is claimed by the donor (carried over) and the year when the recipient organization reports it as revenue (the year in which it is received) may be different.

*Exceptional transactions

 Charitable OrganizationsAmount ($ Billion)Growth (%)
3Human services50.065.10
5Health organizations38.277.30
6Public-safety benefit organizations29.597.80
7Arts, culture & humanities19.518.70
8International affairs22.974.40
9Environment & animal organizations11.837.20

Trends & Evolution

The rise in online giving is directly correlated to the rise in social media. 42% of online donors worldwide cite social media as the tool that inspires them most often to give. Of these donors, 62% say that Facebook inspires them the most. 15% say Twitter. 10% say Instagram. Digital marketing and fundraising roles have been professionalized during the past decade, changing not just fundraising, but in many cases, the staffing for it. Development staff members now regularly include digital fund – raising and marketing alongside the more traditional direct mail and telephone fundraising functions.

Digital fundraising only represents, on average, less than 20 percent of total donor revenue. The success and growth of multi-channel fundraising programs requires fundraising activities to be balanced across both digital and traditional outreach. The success of a fully integrated direct response program depends on getting all parts of the donor engagement process working in unison, with careful consideration for timing, messaging, audience segmentation, and personalization of appeals. Donors who receive direct mail appeals commonly visit websites or click on carefully-timed email appeals to make their donations. This shift in how supporters make donations is both a response to changing times and a function of how fundraisers are harnessing the tools and techniques at their disposal to facilitate and increase supporter response. As fundraising techniques become more reliant upon complex mixes of digital and traditional communications, fund – raisers become reliant upon a donor management system that can keep up.

Lester Solutions

Lester has for over three decades provided cost effective and efficient fund raising services to leading education and not-for-profit organization. We deliver compelling performance both on pledges and fulfillment. Our solutions or focused around education and not-for profit segments of recipients.

Industry Resources & Associations