Today I attended the briefing of the Giving USA 2011 report (www.givingusareports.org). Naturally, I get excited seeing any numbers and especially a pie chart and yearly trend graphs (nominal and inflation adjusted).
The highlights are there are 1,280,739 non profits (501(c)3 entities); 63 million volunteers and that doesn't include churches. The total giving in the USA in 2010 was $290.89 Billion which is a 3.8% increase over last years number and finally an increase after two dismal years of decline (2009 was -6.5%). When you add bequests and family foundations (with the owner still alive) 87% of all that money was given by individuals! And if you subtract the $100.63 Billion given to religious organizations (probably all from individuals) then $111.14 Billion was given by individuals (1.9% of their disposable income) to those 1.3 million non-profits plus international causes
Now this is where the statistician in me kicks in - For 2010 the population in the USA was 308.745,538 and the number of households was 112,611,029 (that's 2.6 people per household). So the average American household gives $986.93 to non-religious charities. WOW - that seems like a low number given that the median household income for 2009 was $50,221.
So what was my take-away from all these giving numbers. The USA gives alot - but we have the capacity to give even more!