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American Mega-Giving: A Comparison to Global Disaster Relief

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Publication Date: January 2005

Publisher(s): Institute for Jewish and Community Research

Author(s): Gary A. Tobin; Alex C. Karp; Aryeh K. Weinberg

Special Collection: Berman Jewish Policy Archive

Topic: Banking and finance (Philanthropy and nonprofit sector)

Keywords: Fundraising and Philanthropy; Allocations; Global responsibility

Type: Brief

Coverage: United States

Abstract:

The authors assert that mega-gifts (defined as $1 million or more) have a powerful impact on American and global society. Using tsunami relief donations as an example, they argue that Americans give more quickly and more generously than those in other countries, where aid is typically pledged by the government using tax funds. Additionally, Americans continuously give to a variety of causes at high levels, not just in times of crisis. The authors dispel a claim that Americans are less philanthropic than citizens of other nations. They also question whether American philanthropy goes where it is most needed.