LeadingSmart

Practical Stuff for Church Leaders

American Generosity

A friend forwarded me an article called The Surprising Truth About American Generosity from Trends Magazine. It was very encouraging. Some highlights…

  • 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.
  • 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.

Although I will continue to be dismayed when I hear of well-to-do celebrities who don’t give, I won’t let it change my giving patterns. And for today, I’ll celebrate that Americans are still known as a generous people.

What about you—does this report surprise you?