The Top Causes that People Love: A Snapshot of Charitable Giving in the USA

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An analysis of 48 months of charitable giving by the American Endowment Foundation showcases favorite causes. The top two, education and religion, amount for almost half of the total donations.

Religion and education dominate Americans' giving.

American Endowment Foundation (AEF), America’s largest independent provider of donor advised funds, reviewed the grant distributions recommended by its clients from Sept. 30, 2010 to September 29, 2014, totaling over $228 million in grants. AEF published a ranking of the top 25 causes to which Americans donate.

The top five causes were education, religion, philanthropy, human service and arts/culture. Organizations that support learning, including those that make education more effective and more accessible to more students, counted for 25 percent of the donations. To see the full list, visit

“Our analysis shows that religion and education dominate Americans’ giving,” Phil Tobin, Co-Founder of AEF said. “Almost half of the total grant distributions made by our clients went to these two causes.”

About American Endowment Foundation
American Endowment Foundation (AEF), a 501(c)3 charity founded in 1993, is the largest independent administrator of donor advised funds (DAFs) in the US. A donor advised fund is a charitable account managed by a public charity. The fund exists to manage charitable donations on behalf of the individual donor to support the charitable causes that are important to them. AEF is not a charitable entity of a for-profit institution or other charity, thereby maintaining its independence to serve the interests of its individual donors. For more information visit,

Media Contact:
Eric Kinaitis, Editor/ Director of Content Marketing
American Endowment Foundation

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Eric Kinaitis
American Endowment Foundation
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