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The Charitable-Giving Divide
Source: The New York Times  ·  August 20, 2010  ·  Excerpt

For decades, surveys have shown that upper-income Americans don’t give away as much of their money as they might and are particularly undistinguished as givers when compared with the poor, who are strikingly generous. A number of other studies have shown that lower-income Americans give proportionally more of their incomes to charity than do upper-income Americans. In 2001, Independent Sector, a nonprofit organization focused on charitable giving, found that households earning less than $25,000 a year gave away an average of 4.2 percent of their incomes; those with earnings of more than $75,000 gave away 2.7 percent.

This situation is perplexing if you think of it in terms of dollars and cents: the poor, you would assume, don’t have resources to spare, and the personal sacrifice of giving is disproportionately large.

Our take
What distinguishes the giving behavior of your donor base? Who are the people in your donor base, and what motivates them in their giving? These can be challenging questions to answer, particularly in the current economic climate and even for seasoned development professionals.

Let Compass Pointe be your guide to changing attitudes and cultural shifts in philanthropy. Contact us now for help answering these questions and more:

  • What is the demographic makeup of my organization's donor base, and how can I reach out to new donors?
  • How will changing attitudes toward giving impact development efforts now and in the future?


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