Charitable Giving Trends Return to Pre-COVID Levels

Charitable giving trends resemble those of pre-COVID days as larger donors assume a larger share of the giving pie.

Charitable giving trends are returning to pre-COVID patterns, according to an Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) report.

Pulling from quarterly snapshot data compiled by, ECFA highlights a key point: as pandemic-era needs waned in 2022, non-profit giving trends followed along, particularly from small-dollar ($500 or less) donors, who are giving less than they did before the pandemic.

But while small- and micro-donors ($100 or less) are fewer in number, overall donations saw a 7 percent jump in the second quarter of 2022, signaling a return to dependence on midsize ($500-$5K), Major ($5K-$50K) and Supersize ($50K) donors.

The ECFA study notes that pandemic-era giving spiked as charities became more and more visible in their communities. As the pandemic has waned, so has the visibility, and the motivation to give.

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That, along with fewer tax incentives and higher inflation, is having a chilling effect, too, especially on small- and micro-donors.

Other key insights from the IndependentSector study:

  1. U.S. nonprofits pumped $1.5 trillion into the economy in 1Q23
  2. Trust in non-profits dropped from 59% to 56% from 2020 to 2022
  3. Overall, the number of donors dropped by 10% in 2022

For Church Law & Tax members: Soliciting donations is a crucial—and complicated—part of managing a church’s finances. It’s a fact highlighted in a legal development out of Michigan. That’s where a church sued the archdiocese for soliciting donations for one thing only to turn and use it for something else.

Church Law & Tax Editor and Attorney-at-Law Matthew Branaugh explains:

When a Michigan archdiocese used contributions to settle a sex abuse claim, church members sued. The ongoing court battle underscores some key facts every church leader should understand.

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