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Giving and Volunteering
in the United States: Part 2
 
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The Spirit of Giving

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  Total reported charitable deductions in 2001 were $137.7 billion.* The average charitable contribution per tax return filed was about 2.2 percent of income. Contributions as a percent of income varied from 5.0 percent in Utah to 0.4 percent in South Dakota. Though the average charitable deduction per return in the U.S. was $1,052 in 2001, state averages ranged from $2,083 to $144.  
  More Generosity Facts: Eighty-one percent of total charitable giving comes from individuals. The bulk of individual contributions comes in small gifts from $5 to $1,000. Forty-six percent of the adult population and 89% of households gives to charitable organizations. By far the largest percentage of giving households (60.6%) in the United States contributes regularly to religious organizations, including churches, and contributes the highest average amount as well—$1,358 (see table below for other types of charities). Among major religious groups Mormons give the highest percentage of their income (over 7%) and Catholics give the lowest (under 2%).  
  NOTE: *This is the total reported from the 34% of U.S. taxpayers who itemized deductions in 2001. No one knows how much non-itemizers donate to charity, although the AAFRC Trust for Philanthropy estimated total individual giving in 2001 to be $182 billion. Based on this estimate, the total of $137.7 billion reported as itemized contributions represents about 75 percent of all individual giving.  
     
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Average Household Contributions
Sources: Internal Revenue Service, IRS Statistics of Income Bulletin, Spring 2003,
as reported by the National Center for Charitable Statistics (The Urban Institute);
Giving and Volunteering in the United States: 2001 Edition
(Copyright and Published by Independent Sector, Washington, DC, 2002):
Religious Preference Chart based on Percept's National Ethos Survey.

AVERAGE HOUSEHOLD CONTRIBUTIONS
AS A PERCENTAGE OF INCOME BY RELIGIOUS PREFERENCE
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Numbers in percent
AVERAGE 2001 HOUSEHOLD CONTRIBUTIONS
AS A PERCENTAGE OF INCOME BY STATE
AVERAGE 2000 HOUSEHOLD CONTRIBUTIONS
BY PERCENT OF TOTAL HOUSEHOLDS AND TYPE OF CHARITY
TYPE OF CHARITY PERCENT OF HOUSEHOLDS AVERAGE
CONTRIBUTION
Religion 60.60% $1358
Health 38.00% $224
Human Services 34.70% $338
Youth Development 33.80% $254
Education 29.90% $508
Environment 19.00% $195
Arts, culture, humanities 16.60% $234
Public, societal benefit 11.10% $251
Private, community
foundations
7.30% $238
International 6.30% $254
Recreation - adults 5.90% $371
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