Philanthropy is a powerful and long-standing tradition in the United States. In fact, generous Americans last year contributed more than $358 billion to nearly 1.5 million public charities to improve life for others. In current dollars this number has increased 12-fold over 40 years.
Philanthropy is in the DNA of our country. Its roots are deep, going back 225+ years to Benjamin Franklin who created our first philanthropic foundation in 1789. Most do not realize that individual donors—like Franklin—make up nearly 90% of all giving in our country. Their gifts range from a grandmother who lovingly adds $5 to her church basket every Sunday, to Warren Buffet gifting $34 billion to back the humanitarian work of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Source: Giving USA 2015 Highlights: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for 2014. Download here.