Turn to Your Left at the End of the Sky

American Philanthropy

Another article on differences in philanthropy: the short version is that people who are a) American, b) conservative, and c) religious give a lot more of their time and money.

Brooks has uncovered other fascinating findings. In 2000, the Americans who attended a house of worship at least once a week were 25 percent more likely to give charitably than those who participated in a religious service less frequently or participated in no religion at all. Further, religious people donated nearly four times more in dollars per year than secularists. And religious persons were 23 percent more likely to volunteer their time.

Interestingly, households headed by a conservative gave 30 percent more dollars to charity in 2000 than households headed by a liberal, though liberal-headed households tend to have higher incomes. Both these facts—the higher income of leftists, and the greater giving by conservatives—run counter to the mythology that the left holds in both Europe and the United States.

As the author says, this runs counter to the the mythology of the Left.

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July 8, 2008 Posted by | Christianity, Philanthropy, Philosophy, Spirituality | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Conservatives Really Are More Compassionate

Sixteen months ago, Arthur C. Brooks, a professor at Syracuse University, published “Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism.” The surprise is that liberals are markedly less charitable than conservatives.

Here are some of the findings:

  • Although liberal families’ incomes average 6 percent higher than those of conservative families, conservative-headed households give, on average, 30 percent more to charity than the average liberal-headed household ($1,600 per year vs. $1,227).
  • Conservatives also donate more time and give more blood.
  • Residents of the states that voted for John Kerry in 2004 gave smaller percentages of their incomes to charity than did residents of states that voted for George Bush.
  • Bush carried 24 of the 25 states where charitable giving was above average.
  • In the 10 reddest states, in which Bush got more than 60 percent majorities, the average percentage of personal income donated to charity was 3.5. Residents of the bluest states, which gave Bush less than 40 percent, donated just 1.9 percent.
  • People who reject the idea that “government has a responsibility to reduce income inequality” give an average of four times more than people who accept that proposition.

Brooks demonstrates a correlation between charitable behavior and “the values that lie beneath” liberal and conservative labels. Two influences on charitable behavior are religion and attitudes about the proper role of government.

Brooks gave a talk at the Heritage Foundation in December 2006 where he expanded on his research.

April 1, 2008 Posted by | Christianity, Philanthropy, Philosophy, Politics | Leave a comment

Opportunity International

The advent of Christmas is always a great time to count your blessings and review your charitable giving. I highly endorse Opportunity International. They make a significant difference in the lives of the poor by loaning them capital with the training and spiritual support that they need to lift themselves out of poverty. Opportunity is close to making their millionth loan to the poor. The average first time loan amount is $84 and the loans have an astonishing repayment rate of 98%. Best of all, it’s a gift that keeps on giving as your contributions are recycled again and again as Opportunity builds up a larger and larger base of capital to loan out.

December 8, 2006 Posted by | Economics, Investing, Philanthropy, Spirituality | Leave a comment