THE CHALLENGE  |  The majority of U.S. households give to charity, so why has giving been stuck at 2% GDP since the 1970s?

Donors feel overwhelmed by the giving process

  • They are often uncertain where to start, don’t have the information they want, feel pressed for time, and hence default to comfortable but less effective giving habits.

Donors don't know how much they give compared to peers

  • 75% of Americans think they donate more than average.  In reality, 72% contribute at a rate below the national average. 
  • Median giving is only 0.4% while average giving is 3.6%—in part due to the most generous among us.

Donors want clearer communication with nonprofits

  • 49% don’t know how nonprofits use their money.
  • 34% feel hassled.
  • 20% are unsure who benefits from the work they’re funding.

Nonprofit name recognition trumps impact

  • 61% prefer to give to well-known nonprofits but not necessarily the most effective organizations.

As a result…donors are reluctant to change their giving

  • 67% are loyal to their primary causes.
  • Only 13% intend to give to different nonprofits.
  • Only 9% compare nonprofits before giving.

THE OPPORTUNITY  |  If we can break through these barriers, we can mobilize $22B in new and $25B in shifted donations annually.


  • American donors feel strongly about giving and giving back—they are highly-engaged with giving through volunteering and other activities, they feel a responsibility to give, and they believe their giving makes a difference. 


  • Limited understanding of donor behaviors, motivations, and preferences continues to hold the social sector back from realizing this $47B opportunity.


  • We surveyed 3,000 Americans online, held in-person focus groups, and tapped into the best peer research to learn what donors need to increase or shift their giving.



THE SOLUTION  |  $FG 2015 provides the foundation from which the social sector can mobilize billions more in philanthropic giving

Reveal the voice of the donor

  • Detail the giving behaviors, motivations, and preferences of American donors.

Reframe the giving conversation

  • Change the giving conversation to make it more joyful, dynamic, connected, and simple to better meet donor preferences.

Segment donors

  • Identify and engage the three donor segments most likely to increase and/or shift giving—Busy Idealists, Cautious Strivers, and Unaware Potentials.
  • Use $FG's free tool to segment and better understand current and potential donors.

Improve giving channels

  • Use $FG insights to improve the giving opportunities presented by workplace giving, point of sale giving, and donor-advised funds (DAFs).