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Research Demonstrates American Generosity

A timeless American ideal has been being a part of something greater than ourselves. In today’s age, we often forget what that looks like, as there is always something negative going on in the news. We fail to recognize all of the good things that are happening here in America. One aspect that is not touched on often is how generous Americans are with their time and treasure. We have a rich history of philanthropy, something that is truly unique to America. The research cited in the article below displays how we often come together as one great nation to assist those in our local communities and around the country.

Money Donated to Charity. Credit: Giving USA


According to a survey done by Americorps, nearly 51 percent of Americans, or 124.7 million people, informally helped their neighbors between September 2020 and September 2021. This goes to show how Americans consistently do good work in their communities and how often it goes unnoticed. On top of that, they found that an estimated 23.2 percent of Americans, or more than 60.7 million people, formally volunteered with organizations between September 2020 and September 2021. This added up to an estimated 4.1 Billion hours with an economic value of $122.9 Billion.


According to research done by Giving USA, Americans gave over $471.44 billion to charities, as seen in the graphic above. Not only were Americans generous with their time, but also their financial resources. The majority of this money came from individuals, followed by foundations, as seen in the graphic below.

Sources of Contribution. Credit: Giving USA

The 2nd graphic displays where all of the money was donated to, with religion making up 28%, followed by education at 15%. Even in my local community, I have seen the power of donations both to religion and education. Many donations went to help support the Catholic High School I attended, and at Georgia Tech, a $50 Million Dollar Donation was given to the Business School I attend that built it into what it is today.

Recipients of Contribution. Credit: Giving USA

World Standing

Not only does America do well when looking internally at how we donated, but we also crushed it on a global scale.

According to the CAF World Giving Index 10th edition, the United States of America is the world's most generous country over the last decade.

There were consistently high numbers across donating money, volunteering time, and helping a stranger when looking at the last decade as a whole for America.

Global Giving. Credit: Charities Aid Foundation

Tax Payer Spend

On top of donating time and money, American generosity is also seen through taxes and how they are spent. At a national level, we spend over $1.4 Trillion on healthcare programs that go to helping our fellow Americans. On top of that, around $665 Billion is spent on economic security programs for individuals and families experiencing hardship. At a local level, over 50% of expenditures go toward public welfare, education, and health, as seen in the chart below.

State and General Expenditures. Credit: US Census Bureau

As the research displays, Americans are extremely generous. This is something that deserves to be celebrated, as we have a rich tradition of philanthropy from Andrew Carnegie in the 1860s to Warren Buffet today. We have gone out of our way to contribute both time and money to causes greater than ourselves. //

Matthew Pinto


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