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Trivia: What percent of their income does the average American household give to charity? Answer

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Background

     There are several reasons to give to charity in addition to pure altruism. Charitable giving is encouraged by the United States government through tax benefits. Of particular relevance to investors is the fact that when appreciated securities are donated, the giver can normally write off the full value of the securities. Some empirical studies also suggest an additional reason to give to charity. Some researchers have theorized that charity may be good for you and may help you live longer. A ten year study of 2,700 people found that volunteers have significantly lower death rates than those who don't give volunteer service. In another interesting study, Harvard University psychologist David McClelland found that saliva taken from students after watching a film of mother Teresa doing her good works among sick and poor contained a significant increase in immunoglobulin A (an antibody that helps subdue respiratory infection) versus saliva taken before the film. The implication is that doing good may help you live longer. Source: The Book of You by Bernard Asbell, 1991.

Trivia answer: Most estimates are around 2%. According to the Gallop Organization, the average American household gave 2.2 percent of its income in 1995, up from 2.1 percent in 1993. (Source: Worth December/January 1997, page 58.)

There are two things needed in these days;
first, for rich men to find out how poor men live;
and second, for poor men to know how rich men work.

E. Atkinson

If all the rich people in the world divided up their money amongst themselves
there wouldn't be enough to go around
.
Christina Stead

See also Socially Responsible Investing

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