Dispatches

When it Comes to Charity, Who Gives the Most?

This sector is a crucial contributor to the health and welfare of the country. Who fuels it?


The charitable sector of the United States economy contributes about 6% of gross domestic product this year – surpassing the national defense sector in size as far back as 1993. Karl Zinsmeister of the Philanthropy Roundtable points out that this sector is a crucial contributor to the health and welfare of the country, and is fueled by the generosity of private citizens. “Only 14% of charitable giving in our country comes from foundations, and only 5% from corporations. The rest comes from individuals and the bulk of it comes from small givers at an average rate of about $2,500 per household per year… Total private philanthropic aid sent overseas exceeds the foreign aid budget of the U.S. government, the latest totals are about $39 billion to $31 billion, respectively.”

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