Private Sector Philanthropy

Americans for the Arts logo

Provided by

Giving to the arts by individuals, foundations, and corporations spiked to an all-time high in 2021—up 27.5% to $23.5 billion, an amount that represented 4.8% of all charitable giving.

Graph of Private Sector Philanthropy 2007 to 2021
Graph of Private Sector Giving 2007-2021
  • In 2021, private sector giving to arts, culture, and humanities—by individuals, foundations, and
    corporations—increased 27.5% to $23.50 billion. This is a new high-water mark for total giving to
    the arts. Even when adjusted for inflation, this represents a remarkable 21.8% increase.
  • As a percentage of all charitable giving, the arts grew to 4.8% in 2021—rebounding from just
    4.0% in 2020. Maintaining a strong and steady share of overall philanthropy demonstrates relevance
    of the arts sector. Even small fluctuations in the share of total philanthropy have significant financial
    implications. The arts have historically been procyclical, meaning contributions grow faster than
    average in good economic times, but shrink more than average in tough times.
  • Private contributions to all charities were up 4.0% in 2021 (-0.7% when adjusted for inflation),
    reaching $484.85 billion. Total giving by corporations soared +23.8% ($21.08 billion), foundations
    increased 3.4% ($90.88 billion), and individual giving maintained an upward trajectory with a 4.9%
    increase ($326.87 billion).

Source: Giving USA: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2021. Giving USA Foundation, June 2022.