18.06.19 Charity Giving

June 19, 2018
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Big Benajamins, But Not From Average Joes.

For the first time, charitable giving topped $400B last year, but it may not be as impressive as it $eems.

Feeling Generous?


  • Americans gave $410B to charities last year vs.A $390B in 2016, according to Giving USA.
  • Credits “booming stock market & a strong economy.”
  • BUT Americans’A generosity no higher than decades ago at 2% of disposable income.
  • Foundation donations up 15%, driven by mega giftsA Michael Dell ($1B) & Mark Zuckerberg ($2B).


"Some people feel they don’t need to give any more."

Stacy Palmer, Chronicle of Philanthropy, alluding to a drop in giving for lower-income & middle-class families.

  • Last year, $4.1B in mega gifts by individuals vs. $1.49B in 2016.
  • This as we learn millionaires & billionaires hold almost half of global personal wealth.

Need another reason to give? A study last year shows being generous really does make you happier – and may even make you healthier. Click for why.

  • Charitable giving in US tops $400 billion for first time:
  • Plus, this: GLOBALLY Millionaires Now Own Half of the World’s Personal Wealth:A https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-06-15/millionaires-now-own-half-of-world-s-personal-wealth
    “The growing ranks of millionaires and billionaires now hold almost half of global personal wealth, up from slightly less than 45 percent in 2012, according to the report.A In North America, which had $86.1 trillion of total wealth, 42 percent of investable capital is held by people with more than $5 million in assets. Investable assets include equities, investment funds, cash and bonds. ‘The fact that the wealth held by millionaires as a percentage of total wealth is increasing does not mean that the poor are getting poorer,’ Anna Zakrzewski, the report”s lead author, said in an emailed statement. ‘What it means is that everyone is getting richer. Specifically, we believe that the rich are getting richer faster.'”
  • Being Generous Really Does Make You Happier:
    “In a new study published in Nature Communications, researchers from the University of Zurich in Switzerland told 50 people they”d be receiving about $100 over a few weeks. Half of the people were asked to commit to spending that money on themselves, and half were asked to spend it on someone they knew.
    The researchers wanted to see whether simply pledging to being generous was enough to make people happier. So before doling out any money, they brought everyone into the lab and asked them to think about a friend they”d like to give a gift to and how much they would hypothetically spend. They then performed functional MRI scans to measure activity in three regions of the brain associated with social behavior, generosity, happiness and decision-making. Their choices—and their brain activity—seemed to depend on how they had pledged to spend the money earlier. Those who had agreed to spend money on other people tended to make more generous decisions throughout the experiment, compared to those who had agreed to spend on themselves. They also had more interaction between the parts of the brain associated with altruism and happiness, and they reported higher levels of happiness after the experiment was over.
    Studies have shown that older people who are generous tend to have better health, says Tobler, and other research has indicated that spending money on others can be as effective at lowering blood pressure as medication or exercise. ‘Moreover, there is a positive association between helping others and life expectancy,’ he adds, ‘perhaps because helping others reduces stress.'”

by Jenna Lee,