According to a study done by the Giving USA Foundation, individuals were the most generous contributors to charity. Individuals contributed more than 75 percent to the $295 billion in donations received by charities in 2006. Both corporate donations and bequests were down, by 2.1 percent and 7.6 percent.
“Even though the 2006 sum, adjusted for inflation, amounts to only a 1 percent increase over the prior year, it’s still notable. It surpasses the record $283 billion raised in 2005, which saw a series of natural disasters including Hurricane Katrina. Now, skeptics of individual freedom in charitable giving — who also champion taxpayer conscription for charity’s sake — will attribute the increase to a solid market. No kidding. By the same token, because Americans made more in a good market year, they didn’t horde it all.”