Giving increased last year, according to the most recent Giving USA report, and foundations contributed to this growth. In 2013, giving to charities increased 3 percent, reaching $335.17 billion after an adjustment for inflation, The Associated Press reported. With a continued focus on grant management software, foundations can increase efficiency and give more strategically to organizations that are in line with their missions.

However, donations were not evenly distributed. Wealthier donors were more likely to contribute to the arts, higher education and other sectors, while charities related to social services organizations were given to less frequently. During the recession and right afterward, wealthier donors increased their giving to nonprofits dealing with homelessness and hunger, but now that the economy is trending upward again, these donors have shifted back to arts and higher education once more.

In an interview with The AP, Stacy Palmer, editor at The Chronicle of Philanthropy, said social services organizations generally receive most of their funding from less wealthy donors. The AP cited data from the IRS, which found that Americans with an annual income of less than $100,000 gave away a higher percentage of their income than those with incomes between $100,000 and $1 million.

Giving from foundations rose 4.2 percent in 2013, while corporate giving dropped 3.2 percent, The Chronicle of Philanthropy reported. Donations to public-society benefits groups, which includes donor-advised funds, increased 7 percent in 2013.

Philanthropists can continue to lead giving in the U.S. by improving the processes they use to distribute funds. Since donor-advised funds are growing more popular, these organizations should consider implementing grant management software like CommunityForce’s to more effectively manage these assets and make sure they are used appropriately.