Friday, December 18, 2009

Giving Patterns of Americans

We are in the throes of the Christmas season and for many Americans that means an increase in their charitable giving. I can attest that the donors to our ministry give more to us at the end of the year than at any other time. In fact our donations can be anywhere from 20-50% more in December than at any other month of the year.

As one that has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for our non-profit charity over the years, I am always interested to learn more about the giving patterns of Americans. Justin Taylor recently shared some interesting facts from concerning the charitable giving of Americans.

Here are some statistics that stood out to me:
1. Americans are #1 in charitable giving in the world. It would take 3 French OR 7 Germans OR 14 Italians to equal the charitable donations of 1 American.

2. Americans give over 300 Billion each year to charities. However, we give over 400 Billion to Walmart.

3. There are close to 1 million public charities in the U.S.

4. The charity with the largest amount of revenue is Lutheran Services in America. They draw in over 16 billion a year.

5. The average American family gives about $2,000/year to charities.

6. Those who earn less than $20,000/year are twice as charitable (as a % of income) as those who earn over $100,000 (even though they donate 1/4 as much). The most common reason upper income people don't give to charity? They say they can't afford it.

7. Where does our giving go?
  • 35% - Religion
  • 13% - Education
  • 11% - Foundations
  • 9% - Human Services
  • 8% - Public Society Benefit
  • 7% - Health
  • 17% - Other
8. Conservatives are more likely to give than liberals and are twice as likely to attend religious worship services. Religious people even give more to secular causes than non-religious people do.
To learn more about the charities you give to, visit the Better Business Bureau or Charity Navigator.

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