In a letter from my alma mater (Philadelphia’s Germantown Friends School), I just learned about something called the Giving USA Foundation, which releases annual statistics on charitable giving (among other services). They have a fascinating web site, titled “Thought Leaders in Philanthropy.” Combing through the site, I find this press release from last June, which offers up the following stats:
- US donors gave an estimated $295 billion in 2006, about $12 billion more than the year before—a year which had included $7.4 billion in extraordinary disaster relief funding.
- Within that $295 billion, gifts by individuals accounted for nearly $223 billion, more than three-quarters of the total.
- 65 percent of American households with incomes of less than $100,000 made charitable gifts in 06;
- Based on philanthropic giving as percentage of GDP, the United States leads the world in charitable giving.