Growing income and wealth inequality are disrupting every aspect of US society, including donations to nonprofits. Since 2016, with our biennial report, Gilded Giving, we’ve been tracking the risks that increasingly top-heavy philanthropy poses to independent nonprofits—and to our democratic institutions. This article highlights some of the latest research in our recently released 2022 edition.

The problem in a nutshell is that nonprofits are receiving less money from donors at lower- and middle-income levels, making them increasingly dependent on major gifts from far smaller numbers of wealthy donors. Splashy mega-gifts from the ultra-wealthy have masked the troubling declines in small donor giving, which we attribute to rising economic insecurity for most households.

Find the original at Nonprofit Quarterly.

Chuck Collins directs the Charity Reform Initiative at the Institute for Policy Studies and is coauthor, with Helen Flannery, of the briefing paper, “The Case for an Emergency Charity Stimulus.” He is coauthor of numerous reports on charity reform. Helen Flannery is a researcher at the Institute for Policy Studies where she directs the Charity Data Lab. She has written extensively on charitable sector trends, including direct marketing fundraising, sustainer giving, and economic factors affecting donor behavior.

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