(Photo: News Tribune / Julie Smith)
A new report found that Americans donate a greater share of the country's economic output to charity than do the people of 11 other countries.
The Charities Aid Foundation in the United Kingdom revealed that giving in the United States equals 1.67 percent of the nation's gross domestic product. And religious giving accounted for the large gap between America and the other nations.
According to the report, donations to religious organizations accounted for about 60 percent of the difference between the United States and the United Kingdom - which was at 0.73 percent of the nation's gross domestic product.
In the United Kingdom, donations were more likely to go to international causes, with 13 percent of all giving going overseas. In America, only 3 percent of donations went to such causes.
Countries with higher tax levels were tied with less charitable giving. The three highest tax percentages were in France, Germany and Turkey which were listed at the bottom in giving rates. Residents in France - ranked last - gave only 0.14 percent of their economic output.
Charitable contributions in America reached unprecedented levels in the last year after Hurricane Katrina swept the Gulf Coast. Donations surpassed that of 9/11 funds, but still did not take away from other fundraising campaigns. The Salvation Army, a nonprofit Christian organization, broke its annual Red Kettle campaign record with $107 million in contributions last year in addition to generous donations collected for hurricane victims.
Major George Hood, National Community Relations Secretary for the Salvation Army, had said that the additional funds even in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita "demonstrates the compassion of Americans."
The Charities Aid Foundation works with individuals, companies, and charities in the United Kingdom to facilitate charitable giving. The recent report will be made available online on Friday.