Our ongoing research projects gather and interpret new data at regular intervals in order to analyze and track trends over time.
Our ongoing research projects
The longest-running, most comprehensive analysis of the sources and uses of U.S. charitable giving. Published by Giving USA Foundation, this periodical rigorously estimates donations by individuals, corporations, foundations, and bequests to 1.1 million charities and 220,000 U.S. religious organizations.
Bank of America Study of Philanthropy by Affluent Households
The biennial series that has set the benchmark for research on the giving practices of affluent households in the United States. The study series sheds light on the giving patterns, priorities, and attitudes of America’s wealthiest households.
National Study of Congregations’ Economic Practices
The largest and most comprehensive, nationally representative study of U.S. congregations’ finances in more than a generation. It reveals a detailed picture of the nation’s 300,000+ congregations, providing new insight into how they receive, manage and spend money.
Global Philanthropy Indices
Two global research projects—the Global Philanthropy Environment Index and the Global Philanthropy Tracker. Through partnerships with experts and organizations around the world, the two global indices provide a comprehensive understanding of the evolving philanthropic landscape and help promote generosity and create positive and lasting change in the world.
The Philanthropy Panel Study (PPS)
The Philanthropy Panel Study (PPS) is the best and most accurate resource for measuring the U.S. general population’s charitable giving and volunteering. Conducted every two years in partnership with the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research’s Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID), this signature panel study has tracked the same families’ giving and volunteering over time, alongside dynamic personal and socioeconomic factors informing philanthropic behavior. Genealogical sampling ensures that adult children starting their own families are also included.
Explore more projects, studies, and reports from the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy:
The Philanthropy Outlook 2019 & 2020 projects giving by individuals, bequests, foundations and corporations will grow, and offers potential scenarios, factors to watch.Explore the findings
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.
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.
The Study of High Net Worth Philanthropy biannually 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
The Coutts Million Dollar Donors Report analyzes the number, size and recipients of gifts of $1 million or more given by individuals, foundations and corporations in the United States, United Kingdom, Russia, Middle East (Gulf Cooperation Council), China, Hong Kong and for the first time, Singapore.
The nature and structure of philanthropy varies greatly by region, and data on giving is more accessible in some regions than others, so the report should not be used to compare giving from region to region, as comparisons would be misleading. The report is intended as a resource for understanding similarities and differences in trends in philanthropy around the globe.
Changes to the Giving Landscape analyzes effects of the 2008 Great Recession on charitable giving across various donor demographic groups and examines differences pre- and post-recession. 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.View the report »
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.
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.
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.
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. All publicly reported gifts of $1 million or more for disaster relief are also recorded in the school’s Million Dollar List.
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.
In partnership with the Center for FaithJustice, the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy developed a survey to evaluate CFJ’s programs and to measure their long-term impact on alumni’s engagement in their faith, service, and social justice. This study examined survey results from alumni and parents of alumni of CFJ’s youth programs, which are collectively called the “WorX” programs.