2018 Wisconsin Gives Report

Capturing the Impact of Philanthropy

As Wisconsin’s premier resource for philanthropy, Wisconsin Philanthropy Network (WPN) is committed to ensuring that Wisconsin funders remain informed of current local, regional, national and international trends, sample metrics and benchmarks, best practices, and other data and research.

As our signature publication, the Wisconsin Gives Report plays an important role in advancing our mission to promote effective philanthropy in our state. Ultimately, it reflects our commitment to providing you, as a WPN member, with the tools needed to maximize the overall impact of your generous support.

This biennial report’s goal is to provide our statewide network of philanthropic partners, as well as other stakeholders, usable data and in-depth information on national and regional philanthropic trends, while deepening the understanding of Wisconsin philanthropy. It compiles information from numerous national studies and sources, and is supported by data collected from WPN’s survey of Wisconsin grantmakers. The survey sought feedback on topics such as the type and level of support awarded, projections for the upcoming year, and funders’ perception of the overall health of Wisconsin’s nonprofit sector.

Key Findings:

  • Total estimated charitable giving in the United States rose 5.2% between 2016 and 2017 (3.0%, adjusted for inflation), to $410.02 billion.
  • Fifty-six percent of WPN survey respondents plan on increasing their grantmaking in 2018.
  • Twenty-six percent of WPN survey respondents are increasing general operating supporting.
  • Seventy-eight percent of WPN survey respondents are increasing partnerships or collaborations.
  • Nationally, giving by corporations increased 8.0% to a total of $20.77 billion.

Check out a clip of Tony Shields, President and CEO, and Caty Bulgrin, Director of Operations & Research speak to WUWM
on Wisconsin Public Radio about Wisconsin philanthropy and the Wisconsin Gives Report  

Hear Tony speak with Ellenbecker Investment Group on Milwaukee' Philanthropic Community

Data for the report was gathered from the following sources:

Publication Date

November, 2018


Want more information?

Read past editions of our Wisconsin Gives Reports:

2016 Wisconsin Gives Report

2014 Wisconsin Gives Report

2012 Wisconsin Gives Report

2003 Wisconsin Giving Report