According to Independent Sector’s recent study, Giving and Volunteering in the United States, 89% of American households give to charity. The average gift is about 3.2% of income (before taxes), which is an increase from previous years but still well below the 10% tithing recommended by religious institutions. The average household donates $1,620 each year, a little more than four dollars a day.
Based on a survey of more than 4,000 adults, this series of reports explored “the why, how, and who behind the extraordinary everyday generosity – both in time and money – of American households.” It revealed that the people who give the most actually make the least. Households earning under $10,000 a year — far below the poverty line — gave 5.2% of their income to charity.
While 3.2% is the average, there is a movement to give more. Independent Sector encourages donors to “Give 5” – donate 5% of personal income to charitable organizations.