New research by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy explores charitable giving trends by race and ethnicity—a topic that has not been extensively studied—and looks at declines in participation in giving among communities of color during a nearly two-decade period. The research also examines how economic factors such as wealth and income, religious affiliation, and other demographics, as well as trust in individuals and institutions, help explain the charitable behavior of donors of color in myriad and nuanced ways.

The Giving Environment: Giving Trends by Race and Ethnicity is part of the school’s Everyday Donors of Color research series. It is also part of the school’s research series The Giving Environment, which reports on the “declining donors” phenomenon. The new report expands upon that previous research—which showed a significant drop in the percent of U.S. households that gave to charity between 2000 and 2018—to explore how long-term giving rates vary across different racial and ethnic groups.

Key findings from the study include:

  • Giving rates—the share of U.S. households that participated in charitable giving—decreased among all racial and ethnic groups studied, but there were variations in the timing and extent of these declines.
  • The decline in giving rates can be partially attributed to economic factors, including recessions.
  • Non-economic factors such as a decrease in interpersonal trust also help explain the decline in giving rates.

The new report explores the implications of these and other findings for nonprofit professionals, including charitable organizations seeking to develop meaningful ways of engaging everyday donors of color and align with the values and preferences of diverse communities. The report also includes case studies illustrating some of the various ways that diverse communities of color practice generosity, such as funding collaboratives, giving circles and partnerships with culturally relevant institutions and organizations.

Read the full article about philanthropy and racial equity at Lilly Family School of Philanthropy News.