Americans are the most charitable people on Earth.
In 2018, we gave $428 billion to various charities and causes, from religious institutions to animal rights organizations.
Two out of three American households donate to charity in a given year, giving an average of 4 percent of their income ($2,650).
We can measure the impact of charitable giving in lives saved and society changed.
In medicine, breakthrough advances including the polio vaccine, kidney transplants and dialysis, insulin, and successes in the fight against cancer were funded by private giving.
Unfortunately, private giving has become a target for greater government control. Anonymity is critical in philanthropy. Forcing the disclosure of private information exposes donors to retaliation, harassment, and harm.
Limiting the charitable deduction or limiting the deduction only to certain causes could erode the diversity of the charitable sector and discourage some charitable giving.
Wealth taxes would also reduce giving.
We should be wary of increasing government’s role in the charitable sector.
Research shows that when government dollars enter, private dollars leave. Policymakers should protect our right to give and embrace policies that encourage Americans’ generosity.
Visit IWF.org to read the policy focus & learn more.