The Fundraising Effectiveness Project (FEP) recently released their quarterly fundraising report that highlights charitable giving trends for 2021. The report shows charitable giving increased by 2.7 percent in 2021, when compared to 2020, or 11 percent when compared to pre-pandemic 2019 levels.
Additional FEP data beyond the latest quarterly report shows that the universal charitable deduction works. When measuring gifts of $300 – the exact amount of the temporary universal charitable deduction for individuals – FEP found increases in both 2020 and 2021. When compared to 2019 gifts of $300, FEP found a 7.5 percent increase in 2020 and 2021. Furthermore, they also measured gifts of $300 made on the last day of the year, which is when we see the most giving compared to the rest of the year. Numbers show a 33 percent increase of those $300 gifts on December 31, 2020, when compared to 2019, and a 7 percent increase on December 31, 2021, when compared to 2019.
The Charitable Giving Coalition is encouraged to see this increase in giving, especially following a record-breaking year for charitable giving in 2020. During times of unprecedented need, we historically see generous Americans give more, and that was certainly the case in the wake of the health crisis in 2020. As you may recall, 2020 was also the first year in more than three decades that all Americans could deduct at least a portion of their charitable gifts. Unfortunately, the temporary universal charitable deduction for non-itemizers expired at the end of last year, marking 2021 the last year all Americans were incentivized to give.
Restoring and expanding the non-itemizer deduction will help to bolster this increase in giving and provide the necessary resources for the charitable organizations in our communities to continue their good work. There are efforts underway in Congress to renew and expand the universal deduction, and the Charitable Giving Coalition will continue working with our champions to advance policies that further incentivize and democratize charitable giving.