Industry Analysis

Donation Patterns of Individuals and Small Foundations


From research findings, international giving resources and organizations that individuals and small foundations can use to make international giving impactful and efficient include Global Giving, the Giving Global Matrix, GuideStar, BBS Wise Giving Alliance, and CharityWatch. Additionally, individuals in the United States contributed a total of $309.66 billion to charity in 2019, and evidence of how much donors care about due diligence when donating internationally is in the existence of due diligence businesses and NGO watchdog and oversight organizations in the charitable giving sector. A detailed look at the research findings and research strategy follows below.

International Giving Resources and Organizations

Global Giving

Giving Global Matrix: Tax, Fiduciary and Philanthropic Requirements


  • A dated article on the Wall Street Journal identifies GuideStar as a database that contains the tax filings and other information of over 1.8 million active nonprofits. The platform also has historical data for charities that individuals and small foundations can use in conducting due diligence.
  • GuideStar contains the most complete and up to date information on nonprofits that can be used by individuals and small foundations to find, research, and analyze charitable giving opportunities.
  • The platform provides reports, the profiles of nonprofits, and facts & insights that can be used to gather information and facilitate safe and impactful philanthropy.
  • GuideStar’s directory of charities and nonprofits has information for 14,380 international development and relief services charities, 820 international human rights charities, 1,057 international peace and security charities, 2,996 promotion of international understanding charities, and 3,900 services and other charities.

BBS Wise Giving Alliance


Donation Patterns of Individuals and Small Foundations

General Statistics

  • In 2019, Americans gave a total of $449.64 billion to charity. This figure reflects a 5.1% increase from 2018.
  • Out of the $449.64 billion, foundations contributed a total of $75.69 billion while individuals contributed a total of $309.66 billion.
  • Around 90% of high net worth households in the United States give to charity. Additionally, on average, “high net worth donors gave $29,269 to charity in 2017 while general population households gave $2,514.”
  • According to Statista, there are around 5.91 million high net worth individuals in the United States. Using these statistics, it was concluded that around 5.319 million high net worth individuals contribute to charity in the country.
  • In the United States, individuals “account for 4 of every 5 dollars given to charities in this country.”

International Statistics

  • According to Giving USA, a total of $28.89 billion was donated to international causes in 2019.
  • Additional information on how much individuals and small foundations contributed to the total dollar amount highlighted above was not available in the public domain.

Due Diligence and Donating Internationally

Monitoring the Impact of Donations

Existence of Due Diligence Companies

NGO Oversight Organizations

Glenn is the Lead Operations Research Analyst at Simple Manifestation with experience in research, statistical data analysis and interview techniques. A holder of degree in Economics. A true specialist in quantitative and qualitative research.

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