Who Gives To Charity???

Bonnie

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Who Gives to Charity?
By John Stossel

Americans are pretty generous. Three-quarters of American families give to charity -- and those who do, give an average of $1,800. Of course that means one-quarter of us don't give at all. What distinguishes those who give from those who don't? It turns out there are many myths about that.

To test them, ABC's "20/20" went to Sioux Falls, S.D., and San Francisco. We asked the Salvation Army to set up buckets at their busiest locations in both cities. Which bucket would get more money? I'll get to that in a minute.

San Francisco and Sioux Falls are different in some important ways. Sioux Falls is small and rural, and more than half the people go to church every week.

San Francisco is a much bigger and richer city, and relatively few people attend church. It is also known as a very liberal place, and since liberals are said to "care more" about the poor, you might assume people in San Francisco would give a lot.

But the idea that liberals give more is a myth. Of the top 25 states where people give an above-average percentage of their income, all but one (Maryland) were red -- conservative -- states in the last presidential election.
"When you look at the data," says Syracuse University professor Arthur Brooks, "it turns out the conservatives give about 30 percent more. And incidentally, conservative-headed families make slightly less money."
Researching his book, "Who Really Cares", Brooks found that the conservative/liberal difference goes beyond money:


"The people who give one thing tend to be the people who give everything in America. You find that people who believe it's the government's job to make incomes more equal, are far less likely to give their money away."
Conservatives are even 18 percent more likely to donate blood.

The second myth is that people with the most money are the most generous. But while the rich give more in total dollars, low-income people give almost 30 percent more as a share of their income.

Says Brooks: "The most charitable people in America today are the working poor."

We saw that in Sioux Falls, S.D. The workers at the meat packing plant make about $35,000, yet the Sioux Falls United Way says it gets more contributions of over $500 from employees there than anywhere else.

Note that Brooks said the "working" poor. The nonworking poor -- people on welfare -- are very different, even though they have the same income. The nonworking poor don't give much at all.
What about the middle class? Well, while middle-income Americans are generous compared to people in other countries, when compared to both the rich and working poor in America, Brooks says, "They give less."

When asked why, many say, "I don't have enough money to spare." But it's telling that the working poor manage to give.

And the rich? What about America's 400 billionaires? I'll report on them in next week's column.

Finally, Brooks says one thing stands out as the biggest predictor of whether someone will be charitable: "their religious participation." Religious people are more likely to give to charity, and when they give, they give more money -- four times as much.
But doesn't that giving just stay within the religion?

"No," says Brooks, "Religious Americans are more likely to give to every kind of cause and charity, including explicitly nonreligious charities. Religious people give more blood; religious people give more to homeless people on the street."
And what happened in our little test? Well, even though people in Sioux Falls make, on average, half as much money as people in San Francisco, and even though the San Francisco location was much busier -- three times as many people were within reach of the bucket -- by the end of the second day, the Sioux Falls bucket held twice as much money.

Another myth bites the dust.
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2006/12/who_gives_to_charity.html
 

Trigg

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I didn't find this so surprising. Since really it's the 1/2 of the US population that lives in the middle states who make up the bulk of the military. We in the mid-west (who are seen by the media as over weight and lazy) and the people in the south (seen as racist and uneducated) are the ones who do the most for this country.
Meanwhile it's the coastal states that control the media...and are oh so much more enlightened than everyone else.
 

glockmail

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But those liberals are so compassionate and generous! The truth is, of course, that liberals are compassionate and generous with other people's money.
 

manu1959

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we give to:

youth orcherstra

our church

police

my university

various charitys

10% of my income in total
 

glockmail

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we give to:

youth orcherstra

our church

police

my university

various charitys

10% of my income in total
I give to:

Federal
FICA
Medicare/Cade
State
County (2)
Village (2)
sales taxes
license fees
Church (2)

I'm not sure of the total but I'm sure its over 50%.
 

red states rule

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Philanthropy Expert: Conservatives Are More Generous
By Frank Brieaddy
Religion News Service

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Syracuse University professor Arthur C. Brooks is about to become the darling of the religious right in America -- and it's making him nervous.

The child of academics, raised in a liberal household and educated in the liberal arts, Brooks has written a book that concludes religious conservatives donate far more money than secular liberals to all sorts of charitable activities, irrespective of income.

In the book, he cites extensive data analysis to demonstrate that values advocated by conservatives -- from church attendance and two-parent families to the Protestant work ethic and a distaste for government-funded social services -- make conservatives more generous than liberals.

The book, titled "Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism" (Basic Books, $26), is due for release Nov. 24.

When it comes to helping the needy, Brooks writes: "For too long, liberals have been claiming they are the most virtuous members of American society. Although they usually give less to charity, they have nevertheless lambasted conservatives for their callousness in the face of social injustice."

For the record, Brooks, 42, has been registered in the past as a Democrat, then a Republican, but now lists himself as independent, explaining, "I have no comfortable political home."

Since 2003 he has been director of nonprofit studies for Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.

Outside professional circles, he's best known for his regular op-ed columns in The Wall Street Journal (13 over the past 18 months) on topics that stray a bit from his philanthropy expertise.

One noted that people who drink alcohol moderately are more successful and charitable than those who don't (like him). Another observed that liberals are having fewer babies than conservatives, which will reduce liberals' impact on politics over time because children generally mimic their parents.

Brooks is a behavioral economist by training who researches the relationship between what people do -- aside from their paid work -- why they do it, and its economic impact.

He's a number cruncher who relied primarily on 10 databases assembled over the past decade, mostly from scientific surveys. The data are adjusted for variables such as age, gender, race and income to draw fine-point conclusions.

His Wall Street Journal pieces are researched, but a little light.

His book, he says, is carefully documented to withstand the scrutiny of other academics, which he said he encourages.

The book's basic findings are that conservatives who practice religion, live in traditional nuclear families and reject the notion that the government should engage in income redistribution are the most generous Americans, by any measure.

Conversely, secular liberals who believe fervently in government entitlement programs give far less to charity. They want everyone's tax dollars to support charitable causes and are reluctant to write checks to those causes, even when governments don't provide them with enough money.

Such an attitude, he writes, not only shortchanges the nonprofits but also diminishes the positive fallout of giving, including personal health, wealth and happiness for the donor and overall economic growth.
All of this, he said, he backs up with statistical analysis.

"These are not the sort of conclusions I ever thought I would reach when I started looking at charitable giving in graduate school, 10 years ago," he writes in the introduction. "I have to admit I probably would have hated what I have to say in this book."

Still, he says it forcefully, pointing out that liberals give less than conservatives in every way imaginable, including volunteer hours and donated blood.

In an interview, Brooks said he recognizes the need for government entitlement programs, such as welfare. But in the book he finds fault with all sorts of government social spending, including entitlements.

Repeatedly he cites and disputes a line from a Ralph Nader speech to the NAACP in 2000: "A society that has more justice is a society that needs less charity."

Harvey Mansfield, professor of government at Harvard University and 2004 recipient of the National Humanities Medal, does not know Brooks personally but has read the book.

"His main finding is quite startling, that the people who talk the most about caring actually fork over the least," he said. "But beyond this finding I thought his analysis was extremely good, especially for an economist. He thinks very well about the reason for this and reflects about politics and morals in a way most economists do their best to avoid."

Brooks says he started the book as an academic treatise, then tightened the documentation and punched up the prose when his colleagues and editor convinced him it would sell better and generate more discussion if he did.

To make his point forcefully, Brooks admits he cut out a lot of qualifying information.

"I know I'm going to get yelled at a lot with this book," he said. "But when you say something big and new, you're going to get yelled at."
 

glockmail

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"I know I'm going to get yelled at a lot with this book," he said. "But when you say something big and new, you're going to get yelled at."
In that bastion of liberalism, the college campus of SU? Now whodathunk?:happy2:
 

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