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Huge Sum Americans Donate To Charity

by | Sat, Aug 5 2023

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Americans donated more than three quarters of a trillion Australian dollars to charities last year — a drop of 3.4% on the previous year — with a large proportion of that money going to religious organisations, mostly run by Christians.

It was only the fourth time on record that Americans gave less than they did the previous year without accounting for inflation, according to the latest annual Giving USA report. Total giving fell 10.5% in inflation-adjusted terms — the steepest decline since the Global Financial Crisis of 2007-2009.

The Giving USA data shows that people gave about 2% of their disposable personal income – the money available after they pay taxes – to charity. Because inflation-adjusted disposable personal income fell by more than 6% in 2022, Americans had less money to give away. 64% of donations came from individual donors, 21% from foundations, 9% from bequests — generally through a will or estate plan — and 6% from corporations.

A Collage Group survey of around 5,000 people found faith-based charities to be the first choice of one in five of all Americans. That applied to every generation except Gen-Z which preferred to give to issue-based causes, such as the environment and human rights.

Two thirds of all respondents doubted they would have any money to make donations because of inflation with many of them saying they never donated to charities. Two thirds of those who did donate, gave to local charities; around half to national organisations, and 20% to international agencies.

The survey revealed baby boomers were most likely to make monetary donations, while Gen-Z was most likely to volunteer their time. Donating items such as food, clothing and used cars is the most popular means of charitable support. The respondents’ top reasons for giving were: making a difference; looking after people they care about; and personal knowledge about an issue.