Charitable giving in the U.S. is "back on track" after recession, but there are concerns that recent "surge" is attributable "almost exclusively" to wealthier Americans.
"Before the Great Recession, donations from the affluent and ultrarich (those with a net worth of $1 million or more) accounted for almost exactly half of total giving, and were evenly balanced by everyone else in the form of millions of small donations, according to John Havens, associate director of the Center on Wealth and Philanthropy at Boston College. By 2012 (the last data available), the scales tipped toward the affluent, who were responsible for 58 percent of total giving. The trend has more to do with trends in the economy than a lack of generosity. According to Mr. Havens’s data, adjusted for inflation, the average household donation of the middle class and poor has declined from $1,156 in 2006 to $977 in 2012. 'These folks really have not recovered from the recession,' Havens says. But other studies show that the poor and middle class gave a bigger share of their income to charity in 2012 than in 2006. That doesn’t show up as a big increase because their income fell during that period." -- Laurent Belsie, the Christian Science Monitor