Thursday, June 21, 2012

Americans Are Generous People

Americans donate more in 2011 confirms that we remain a generous people throughout these tough economic times.  Congratulations, my fellow Americans.

That said, before we can share the wealth, we first have to create it.

Governments don't do that. Only free people acting in a free market based economy can do that.

So let's remember from whence the money comes the next time we hear about new government knows best programs to "save" the middle class or some such similar progressive chatter.

In fact, it's all about We the People helping ourselves and then lending a hand to those who need our help as well.

Here are the facts about American generosity:

"The economic recovery might be moving slower than Americans would have hoped for, but that hasn’t prevented them from lending a helping hand.

Giving USA released its 2012 report on U.S. philanthropy Wednesday, reporting that charitable giving rose by an estimated 4% in 2011 to $298.42 billion. Individuals were to thank for the majority of contributions, accounting for 73% of the year’s total giving.

Eileen Heisman, CEO of Pennsylvania-based National Philanthropic Trust, a leading maker of grants, said the data signifies that despite economic conditions, charitable giving remains a priority for American families.

“People were giving even during the lowest points of the recession, but as we make an economic rebound, donors feel more comfortable gifting their dollars - especially when they support a cause or organization that’s important to them,” said Heisman.

During the two-year period following each recession over the past 40 years, total giving rose at an average rate of 2.6%, according to Giving USA. In 2010 it grew by approximately 1.1%, they said.

Foundations saw donations increase by 1.8% to $41.67 billion, and bequests grew by 12.2% to $24.41 billion in 2011, the report found.

Corporate donations remained at $14.67 billion. The steady donation volume, according to Giving USA, can be attributed to corporate pre-tax profits, which fell to 4.2% in 2011, down from a rate of 25% in 2010.

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Arkansas received a record-breaking cash donation of $800 million from the Walton Family Foundation, said Giving USA.

The Walton Family Foundation is run by the three children of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton. The donation was the largest-ever recorded cash donation to a U.S. art museum, said Giving USA."

My Take

That's American Exceptionalism at work.

Let's never forget what makes our country unique.

Unlike most of the world, we look to each other for support and not to the government.

Let's be sure to fight the good fight to always keep it that way.

Thanks. Bob.

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