Donors continued increasing their generosity in 2022 despite economic headwinds, according to Vanguard Charitable, a charitable resource and provider of donor-advised funds.

For the sixth straight year, Vanguard reported an increase in grant making for a total of $1.87 billion. This is a 5% increase over the previous record year of 2021 and included more than 196,000 grants issued to more than 52,000 unique organizations, Vanguard said. Vanguard Charitable has granted more than $15 billion to nonprofits since its inception.

“While 2022 presented our nation and our nonprofit community with economic challenges, our donors’ record of generosity surged as they granted to a diverse range of charities,” said Rebecca Moffett, president of Vanguard Charitable, in a statement. The past year serves as a blueprint for giving through donor-advised funds, which set money aside to give when circumstances demand, she said.

For instance, in 2022, Vanguard Charitable donors responded to an emerging need and granted more than $70 million to nonprofits supporting the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. The rapid response from donors produced a 45% increase in the number of total Vanguard Charitable grants that were issued between February 28 and April 8 over the previous year, Vanguard said.

Ranked in the order of numbers of grants given, Vanguard Charitable donors directed their giving to human services, religion, education, health, environment and wildlife, arts and culture, and civic causes.

The top nonprofits supported (by number of grants given) were:

• Doctors Without Borders, USA Inc.
• World Central Kitchen Inc.
• Planned Parenthood Federation of America Inc.—National Headquarters
• International Rescue Committee Inc.
• Samaritan’s Purse
• St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
• Cru (Campus Crusade for Christ)
• Direct Relief
• Catholic Relief Services Inc.

Eighteen percent more grants were set up to occur annually. “Recurring grants send a signal to nonprofits of commitment and consistency, which are powerful in emboldening nonprofit leaders to plan for maximal long-term impact,” Vanguard said.

More than half of the dollars granted were unrestricted, which means nonprofits can allocate funds according to their most pressing needs.

“This past year included multiple economic barriers to giving, including a lengthy period of rising inflation and a volatile stock market that saw the S&P 500 decrease by nearly 20% at year-end. Nonprofits are in a position of vast need, and many are bracing for continued economic pressure as we navigate elevated prices and a potential recession,” Vanguard Charitable said.