The impact of economic crises on philanthropic funding to, and fundraising by, nonprofit organisations is a surprisingly under-researched field. Internationally, data is scant and comparisons are impeded by different categorisations and definitions of funders and sectors, different timeframes and the dominance of the US in the body of published research. A search and review of the literature identified 60 journal articles and professional reports that we analysed by theme. This paper brings together, reviews and analyses what is known from four national contexts – the US, the UK, Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand. Analysis covers the impact of multiple recessions, with a particular focus on the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) of 2008-09. Key findings include that losses of funding are not as uniform nor as sustained as media coverage would suggest and that different sectors are impacted in different ways. Philanthropic sources including individuals, trusts and foundations, and corporate philanthropy vary in the timing of their responses to economic crises, and though the impact of economic crises on nonprofit sectors is variable, giving as a whole is better sustained than popularly supposed.