Give It Away Now

Short thoughts and a few questions today.  First, take a look:

Looking at this recent chart brings up a lot of questions.

The median taxpayer pays only 7.4%?  This seems a little low (though I realize this number reflects the averaging in of those whose income level is so low they pay no taxes).

Americans on average only give 2.1% of their income to charity?  Perhaps this statistic, if anything, might explode the myth of a “Christian America.”  Even in 1970 the number for religious giving was only at 3.1%.

Today, it seems that most Americans aren’t that out of step with even the most faithful Christian givers: the Pentecostals.  Not that we, of course, really give much more.

And then there are the Mormons.  They more than double the national rate for charitable giving.  Very interesting.

It is encouraging to see that Mitt Romney and Barack Obama give so much of their income to charity…but why are they so abnormal?  Is it because they are rich and living on 85% of their income is no problem for them, or because they are in the public eye and want us to think how generous they are?  Are they just that generous or “religious?”  Morever, if the Christian rule of thumb is supposed to be 10%, why does it seem so amazing that they give around 15%?

I await your questions and more.

 

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One comment on “Give It Away Now

  1. Andy Wong says:

    We give 13.7% (just because that was as high as we could ratchet the number before we had kids. We’ve agreed it will never go down but for now it’s not going up).

    1.2% for Presbyterians is super sad but not super surprising. Though I do wonder how much of that has to do with “members in name only.” Would the number change if you only surveyed active members?

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