News & Updates


Wise Giving Wednesday: Total U.S. Giving Declined in 2018

Jun 19, 2019

As reported by Giving USA, Americans gave $427.7 billion in 2018 which represents a 1.7 percent decline in the inflation-adjusted total of $435.1 billion contributed in the previous year. Giving USA - The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2018, which was just released this week, is a public outreach initiative of the Giving USA Foundation that is researched and written by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.

There are a number of issues that may have contributed to this decline, including, but not limited to, the recent changes in the U.S. tax code and the volatile U.S. stock market, but more research is likely to be conducted to help understand these latest philanthropic statistics.

In view of this information, BBB Wise Giving Alliance is encouraging donors to consider a number of options to help ensure a healthy charitable sector:

  • Donate throughout the year. Don’t wait until the end of the year to make your donations. Spread them out so that organizations can develop a better barometer of their giving totals. This enables them to plan for budget adjustments and take appropriate actions.
  • Take the initiative. While giving is often reactive to appeals for support, donors can take the initiative by identifying which causes and charities they want to support before solicitations are received.
  • Reserve for disasters.  Keep in mind that as every year brings unfortunate disasters that generate surges in giving for relief, plan ahead what amounts you want to give for those emergencies, so that your other charitable giving might not be reduced due to these events.
  • Research matters more. In view of the various potential impacts on giving totals, it becomes even more important to ensure trust in the charities you want to support. Visit to verify if the organization meets the BBB Standards for Charity Accountability.

Also keep in mind the 2018 giving total is not the first decline in charitable giving in the U.S. over the past forty years. While a decline is not common, it doesn’t necessarily represent a continuing trend. BBB Wise Giving Alliance, however, believes the above tips include common sense considerations that can be useful despite the economic circumstances.

Video of the Week

As part of our Building Trust Video Series, we are pleased to provide a video featuring Delaney Gracy, M.D., Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, Children’s Health Fund (a BBB Accredited Charity) which seeks to deliver health care to disadvantaged children. Among other things, it has a national network that operates in 17 states and the District of Columbia that help reach over 75,000 individuals each year.  

Recent Reports

We are always working with charities to publish or update reports for donors. Visit or local BBBs to check out any charity before giving.

Our recently evaluated charities include:

Finally, remember to let us know by going to if you are  interested in seeing a report on a charity not on the list and we will do our best to produce one.

H. Art Taylor, President & CEO 
BBB Wise Giving Alliance