Americans demonstrate spirit of charity
According to www.cnn.com, Americans gave almost $300 billion to charity during 2006more than the 2005 total that included donations involving Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma, as well as the tsunami in Asia.
In fact, a November 2006 comparison from the Charities Aid Foundation shows Americans give twice as much as the next most charitable country, Britain.
When adjusted for inflation, U.S. donors gave about $295.02 billion during 2006, up 1 percent from $283.05 billion during 2005, according to an annual report released by the Giving USA Foundation at Indiana University's Center on Philanthropy. About 75 percent of the total came from individuals.
The largest amount of donations, $96.82 billion or 32.8 percent, went to religious organizations; $40.98 billion or 13.9 percent went to education. About 65 percent of households with incomes less than $100,000 gave to charity.
One notable donation that helped bump up the charitable giving total during 2006 was Warren Buffet's donation of $30 billion during the next 20 years to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation$1.9 billion of that total was given during 2006.
However, corporate giving fell by 10.5 percent last year to $12.72 billion, most likely because of companies' overwhelming response to natural disasters in 2005 and weaker profits in 2006.
Regarding philanthropic giving as a percentage of gross domestic product, the U.S. was first at 1.7 percent. Next was Britain with 0.73 percent, Canada with 0.72 percent, Australia with 0.69 percent and South Africa with 0.64 percent.
Be a responsible donor
There are countless opportunities to donate to a charitable cause. However, you want to be sure you think before you give. Following are some tips for donors from www.charitynavigator.org:
This Web exclusive information is a supplement to A benevolent industry.