Sixty three percent of American donated to some sort of charity or philanthropy last year, according to a new study by the American Academy of Religion. And 71 percent of those donors gave to both religious and nonreligious organizations.

Do you give to charities? If so, why? Photo courtesy of Howard Lake/Creative Commons

Do you give to charities? If so, why? Photo courtesy of Howard Lake/Creative Commons

The same “Connected to Give” report also found that 34 percent of Americans who are “nones” — those who claim no religious identity — donated to religiously identified organizations.

At a different conference, Jonathan Hill of Calvin College commented that “Giving is a transferable habit that happens to be cultivated in religious settings.”

If you donate to charities or religious groups, what is your motivation for giving?


  1. I tithe 10 per cent of my income because it feels right to do it. I made the decision to do it about 30 years ago when I made the decision to do God’s will for the rest of my life yesterday, today, tomorrow and forever. I also give time to “help other people at all times” because of my upbringing with the Boy Scouts Of America (See The Scout Oath).

  2. I, too have been tithing for a long time. But at a retreat once, the speaker challenged us to go farther than 10%. I know another person who has worked his way up to 20%, aiming for still more giving. I am amazed that those who give a higher percentage of their income away seem to have no money worries. And some of the people have been less well off. Somehow I’ve discovered that the tithe is the base line, and every opportunity to give above that feels like a privilege.

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