About the Atlas

The Atlas of Giving is the only comprehensive monthly estimate of charitable giving by sector, source, and state in the US.  The Atlas of Giving provides the only forecast of giving in the U.S.

The Atlas of Giving is built upon the fact that charitable giving is directly tied to specific economic, demographic, and event factors. A team of 25 PhD level mathematicians; analysts and statisticians evaluated dozens of possible variables and their interactions with charitable giving outcomes over four decades.  The Atlas of Giving has determined exactly what specific factors correlate with charitable giving in the US. The research team used the relevant identified factors to create 65 econometric algorithms for charitable giving by 9 sectors (religion, education, environment, etc), 4 sources (individuals, foundations, corporations, and bequests), and for 50 states and Washington DC. Each of the algorithms correlates to 42 years of published giving history with a coefficient of correlation of 91% to 99.8%.

Well-established macroeconomic measurements  (retail sales, manufacturing inventories, etc.) use the same type of econometric formulas (algorithms) to establish a benchmark.  The benchmark is then used to measure changes, establish trends, and create forecasts. Consistency and fidelity of the benchmark are vital. The Atlas of Giving uses this proven methodology for measuring and forecasting giving.

The Atlas is able to use its algorithms to measure total US giving as it occurs monthly and provide an updated monthly forecast.  Unlike any other charitable giving index or estimate, the Atlas also monitors current events (political changes, disasters, tax policy changes, important economic factors like unemployment, the stock market, consumer confidence, etc) and provides analysis of their impact on current and future giving.

Atlas of Giving technology has also been used to develop specific predictive models for individual nonprofits and groups of associated nonprofits.  These models have proven to be incredibly accurate.