American individuals and companies donate hundreds of billions of dollars to charity every year. In 2016, donations reached an estimated $390 billion, according to a new report by Giving USA. That's a 2 percent increase on 2015 when individuals, estates, foundations and corporations donated approximately $379.89 billion to good causes.
As is the case in most years, religion was the sector that recieved the most money in 2016. It accounted for $122.94 billion or 32 percent of total philanthropic giving in the U.S. last year. Education came second with $59.77 billion while human services rounded off the top three with $46.8 billion. When it comes to those making the donations, the country's individuals were in first spot, accounting for 72 percent of the $390 billion total - $281.86 billion. Foundations gave $59.28 billion and corporations donated $18.55 billion last year.