Key Points

Over the past decade, local and regional community foundations across the United States have adopted “giving days” as a means to build awareness, bolster community pride, and raise money for local nonprofit organizations. Despite the increasing prevalence of giving days, little scholarly research has empirically examined this phenomenon and its impact, particularly at the local and regional levels.

To address these gaps, this article shares the findings of a study that examined similarities and differences across communities’ giving days and sought to evaluate the extent to which those days led to more giving at the community level.

While the study found that aggregate amounts raised through giving days are increasing, the median amount raised has dropped substantially and the range is widening. Still, there was substantial growth from 2009 through 2016 in the number of giving days in the U.S., raising over $1 billion across counties, cities, and states and thereby growing philanthropy within communities.

Open Access