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.
Wow, those are extraordinary statistics, and belie the notion (increasingly common around the world, if we can believe some of what we see in the media) that Americans are “selfish” people.
I very much enjoyed The Go Giver and appreciate that you and Bob have done such a nice job of combining the spirit of generosity with the spirit of entrepreneurship.
It’s a pleasure to bump into a fellow Friends-schooler, too, by the way. I attended Carolina Friends School for a couple years during high school, and benefited from their broad approach to education.