Current Research Projects

Giving USA

Giving USA 2019 report cover

Giving USA is the longest-running, most comprehensive analysis of the sources and uses of U.S. charitable giving. This periodical rigorously estimates donations by individuals, corporations, foundations, and bequests to 1.1 million charities and 220,000 U.S. religious organizations.

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The Philanthropy Outlook

Philanthropy Panel Study (PPS)

Philanthropy Panel Study

Philanthropy Panel Study

The Philanthropy Panel Study (PPS) is the best and most accurate resource for measuring the U.S. general population’s charitable giving and volunteering. This signature panel study has tracked the same families’ giving and volunteering over time, alongside dynamic personal and socioeconomic factors informing philanthropic behavior.

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Changes to the Giving Landscape report cover

Changes to the Giving Landscape

The study looks at the share of households who gave, the amounts donor households gave, and the percent of income households gave before and after the Great Recession. The report offers key insights for nonprofits and donors as they face new and evolving factors affecting the philanthropic sector in the United States.

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Human Needs Index

Human Needs Index

With more than 45 million Americans living in poverty, according to government measures, the Human Needs Index will serve as a powerful tool to track basic human need with different indicators and less lag time than conventional government data.

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Tax Policy and Giving

1040 tax return with calculator

The 2017 study on Tax Policy and Giving analyzes the effects of proposed tax policy changes on charitable contributions and tax revenue. This study, commissioned by Independent Sector, uses data from the University of Michigan’s Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID), including the Philanthropy Panel Study (PPS) created by the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, and the 2009 IRS Statistics of Income Public Use File (SOI PUF) to examine the effects of increasing the standard deduction, decreasing the top marginal tax rate, and extending the charitable deduction to non-itemizers on charitable giving.

Learn more about the Tax Policy and Giving analysis View the full report

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Study of High Net Worth Philanthropy

High Net Worth Philanthropy report cover

The Study of High Net Worth Philanthropy biennually examines the giving patterns, priorities, and attitudes of America’s wealthiest households. The 2018 study is the seventh in a series written and researched in partnership with U.S. Trust. These studies, the first of which was issued in 2006, have set the benchmark for research on the giving practices of high net worth households.

View the 2018 Study of High Net Worth Philanthropy

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Gender and Philanthropy

Planned Giving

Planned Giving Study report cover

The 2016 Planned Giving Study investigates the characteristics of planned gifts and the likelihood of donors making such gifts to nonprofit organizations at various points over the course of a lifetime. In partnership with Pentera, Inc., this study draws upon unique data on planned gifts and donors from higher education institutions in the U.S. Findings from the study offer insights and implications for fundraising professionals to help donors achieve both their philanthropic aspirations and their financial objectives.

View the 2016 Planned Giving Study View more Planned Giving research

Regional Studies

Giving in Chicago report cover

Giving in Chicago, a report in conjunction with The Chicago Community Trust, is the first comprehensive study of individual, corporate and foundation giving in the six-county metropolitan Chicago region. It examines patterns of charitable giving by households and corporations across the region in 2013, and grant making by foundations and public charities in the region.

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Giving in Puerto Rico report cover

The first study of its kind to examine charitable giving patterns, priorities, and attitudes of Puerto Rican households, Giving in Puerto Rico is the result of a collaboration among Flamboyan Foundation (Flamboyan), Kinesis Foundation, and the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.

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Disaster Giving

Disaster Giving cover

The school has collected and tracked extensive data on disaster philanthropy from U.S. individuals, corporations, foundations, and nonprofit organizations to major domestic and overseas disasters since 2001, including the September 11 attacks, the 2004 Asian tsunami, Hurricane Katrina and the Pakistan earthquake in 2005, the 2010 Haitian earthquake, the Japanese earthquake and subsequent tsunami in 2011, Hurricane Sandy in 2012, and the 2013 Philippine Typhoon Haiyan.

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International Philanthropy

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The Changing Landscape of U.S. Cross-Border Philanthropy explores the changing dynamics of U.S. philanthropy to international causes. The report provides an overview of academic literature on U.S. cross-border philanthropy and international partnership, analyzes current trends on U.S. international giving, and identifies main characteristics of the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Office of American Schools and Hospitals Abroad (USAID/ASHA) grantees and unsuccessful applicants between 2015 and 2017.

View the press release View more International Philanthropy research