Do you donate to charities?
Dec. 13, 2012
By Jeremy Quattlebaum, Student Voices staff writer
As the year ends and the holiday season begins, the coffers of the world’s charities begin to fill. That’s because every year, Americans from all walks of life open their wallets, making donations that are expected to top $200 billion.
“I think that during this time of year, people have generous hearts and there is a time period of giving,” said Peggy Dyer, chief marketing officer with the American Red Cross.
The American people are the most giving people on Earth. Last year, Americans gave $289 billion to charities, reports Giving USA, more than any other country. According to the National Philanthropic Trust, 89 percent of American households give, most to the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, and the American Cancer Society. On top of that, most households give to their place of worship, with the intention of helping the needy in their community.
Americans’ contributions have helped give aid during some of the world’s recent disasters, both at home and abroad.
After Superstorm Sandy, nearly $220 million was raised in relief for disaster victims.
Americans also pledged the lion’s share of money for relief efforts after a tsunami struck Japan in 2011 and an earthquake leveled Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, in 2010.
The bad economy has taken its toll on charities, with the expected $217 billion in charitable giving to be nowhere near the $311 billion high donated in 2007.
People nervous about the economy and those just returning to work are not expected to give as much as they have in the past. “It takes six months to a year for someone who’s been unemployed to feel secure enough to open up their wallet and start contributing again,” said Sandra Miniutti, chief financial officer at Charity Navigator, a charity watchdog. “People are still somewhat uncertain. I don’t think this is going to be a big rebound year.”
If you want to give, organizations such as the Charity Navigator can help you find a charity that will ensure your money goes where you want it to.
What do you think?
How do you give in this tough economy? Why is it good to give? Do you support any charities? If so, which ones? If you can’t afford to give money, what are other ways you can help? Join the discussion and let us know what you think!
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