When it comes to people who give to charity, it is often the richest of the rich that make the headlines. We all remember Ted Turner, who agreed to commit $1 billion to the United Nations or Warren Buffet who recently said that he would donate $37 billion to the Bill Gates Foundation, but those are just two people out of billions. Who are the people who give to charity day in and day out? Who are the people who keep charities in business every day? Is it the rich? Is it the middle class? The answer may, in fact, surprise you.
People Who Give to Charity the Most Have the Lowest Incomes
There is a general perception that those who are the wealthiest also give the most to charities, but that is just a myth. In fact, the average American gives almost $2,000 of their income every year to charities, and many of those families who give that amount make less than $30,000 per year. Studies have shown that as income levels decrease, a higher portion or percentage of that person’s or families’ income is actually donated. On the other hand, almost half of charitable donations in overall dollars comes from those with the highest of incomes, so even though they might donate a lower percentage, they do make a big impact. So when it comes to who funds a majority of the charities around the world, it is those with the lowest of incomes and highest of incomes, but not the middle class.
It’s Not Liberally Minded People Who Give to Charity
It is the perception of the general public that those who call themselves liberal or progressive want to help the poor the most and so are the people who give to charity the most, but that general perception, just like the one about income, is a myth. In fact, those who label themselves conservative or evangelical actually donate more money yearly to help those who are in need. There is a correlation between those who feel that they might need charity or have needed it and the desire to then give it to others, and conservatives view this as a means of people helping people. In comparison, many who call themselves liberal or progressive believe that it should be the government helping people.
Who are the People Who Give to Charity the Most?
When it comes to people who give to charity, there is not a single group more prominent than Americans who consider themselves religious. In fact, Americans who regularly attend church give money to charity at a pace that is four times higher than the next highest group of people. And though some critics would say that this group is simply donating to their own church, the fact is that Americans who consider themselves religious, in whatever faith group they put themselves in, donate more overall income, donate to more charities outside of their religious organization, and donate more of their time to help others.
So when it comes the the people who give to charity, the most generous are wealthy individuals who regularly attend church. That is not to discount all of the other people who give to charity in the amounts they can – it is simply a look at what groups of people give what amounts.