Just read an article in the American Mazazine Online titled “A Nation of Givers”
It paints a positive portrait of American generosity in the article including:
- In 2006, Americans gave $295 billion to charity, up 4.2 percent from the previous year.
- Charitable donations have consistently risen faster than the GDP since World War II. Correcting for inflation and population changes, GDP per person in America has risen over the past 50 years by about 150 percent, while charitable giving per person has risen by about 190 percent. That is, the average American family has gotten much richer in real terms over the past half century, and charitable giving has more than kept pace with this trend.
- Per capita, the people in the United States are perhaps the most generous in the world, as measured by what they give.
- In 1995, Americans gave three-and-a-half times more than the French, seven times more than the Germans, and fourteen times more than the Italians.
- Only a third of Americans itemize deductions on their tax returns. Research consistently shows that almost no one is motivated to give only because of their tax consequences.
- Those who donate to charity are three times as likely to give money informally to friends, and even strangers. And they are twice as likely to donate blood.
- People who attend church are 25% more likely to give to charity and 23% more likely to volunteer. They also give 46% more to family and friends who are in need.
- Also interesting was an analysis that showed that self-described “conservatives” in America are more likely to give—and give more money—than self-described “liberals.” In the year 2000, households headed by a conservative gave, on average, 30 percent more dollars to charity than households headed by a liberal. And this discrepancy in monetary donations is not simply an artifact of income differences. On the contrary, liberal families in these data earned an average of 6 percent more per year than conservative families.
- Really interesting was donation statistics around blood donations. In 2002, conservative Americans were more likely to donate blood each year, and did so more often, than liberals. People who said they were “conservative” or “extremely conservative” made up less than one-fifth of the population, but donated more than a quarter of the blood. To put this in perspective, if political liberals and moderates gave blood like conservatives do, the blood supply in the United States would surge by nearly half.
Fraser America has a Generosity Index by State that is also fascinating reading for those who want to see how their state did.