Charitable giving by individuals rose to nearly $400 billion in 2016, a record high according to philanthropy research organization Giving USA. Such donations help more than 1.5 million nonprofit organizations that operate in the United States. These groups, which are organized for purposes other than generating profit, are often formed with a public benefit or mutual goal in mind.
Not all nonprofit organizations are alike. Private foundations, like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, usually have a single major source of funding — often large gifts from one family or corporation. The primary activity of these organizations is often to make grants to other charitable organizations.
> Largest charity: Milton Hershey School & School Trust
> Category: Elementary & secondary schools
> City: Hershey
> Total assets: $1.20 billion (12th out of all public charities)
> Annual revenue: $3.13 billion (71th out of all public charities)
Public charities, by contrast, frequently rely on funding from many sources, including the general public, governmental agencies, corporations, private foundations, or other public charities. Churches, hospitals, qualified medical research organizations affiliated with hospitals, schools, colleges, and universities are some examples of public charities.
24/7 wall St. reviewed the largest public charity in every state based on total assets using data from national nonprofit sector data clearinghouse National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS).
Universities and hospitals dominate the list, especially among the top charitable organizations nationwide. Known for having the largest endowment, the President and Fellows of Harvard College is the largest public charity in the United States, topping the list in annual contributions as well. Meanwhile, the Kaiser Foundation Hospitals is the second largest nationwide, although it receives only the fourth most annual contributions.
To identify the largest charitable organizations in every state, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the total assets of top public charitable organizations in every state from 2013 IRS data compiled by national nonprofit sector data clearinghouse National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS). A total of 656 public charitable organizations were reviewed. Gross receipts (total revenue) also came from the NCCS. All data is as of the most recent period available.