Americans shook off economic uncertainty and gave a record 306.4 billion dollars to charitable causes in 2007, an increase of 3.9 percent for the year, a survey showed Monday…George Ruotolo, chair of the Giving Institute, said charitable contributions held up even with Americans fretting about high oil prices, the subprime real estate crisis and the ongoing war in Iraq.
"People don't appear to be panicking, they feel that it's going to be OK in 2008," Ruotolo told AFP.
"I'm not bullish but I am satisfied. Even when you adjust for inflation giving still was on the plus side in 2007."
The overall total is up just one percent when adjusted for inflation. It also represents 2.1 percent of US gross domestic product.
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Although there are again "expected cutbacks" again this year, these stats are pretty cool huh? Even though we are hurting (overall, not necessarily on an individual level) people still give to the causes--306.4 billion dollars. In case you were wondering, it's the most giving of any country in the world, both on an overall amount and a per capita basis. Most of the giving went to religious, educational, human service, health, and fine arts organizations.
Why do you think this is?
Personally I think part of it has to do with partly with our generosity and partly because of how people in general respond to crisis-type situations. Churches generally have programs to directly address poverty, and so do other community organizations. We give in disasters both here and abroad. Plus, despite our country being rich, we're certainly not uptight with our earnings.