Posted on in Todd Talks by Todd Johnson

Most Americans probably share the belief that US citizens and the US Government are very generous,  perpetually giving to charity, supporting our fellow citizens and helping the needy around the globe. This is true. The United States of America is usually ranked at or very near the top of the list of charitable countries every year. But we can do better.

According to the National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS), 67% of all households in the US give to charity. Those households give an average of 2.2%, or about $1,872 a year, of their income to help support the causes of their choosing. Of course, giving money isn’t the only way for one to be generous. People also volunteer and donate clothing, blood or plasma, hair, their loyalty program points, or even handmade crafts like hats and/or booties for premature babies.

With so many ways to give and charities to give to, why should we give in the first place? Well, people give for a number of truly admirable reasons. Some donate hair to those who have lost theirs during a battle cancer. You can donate money to help establish farming in impoverished communities, or drill a well in areas struggling to supply people with clean water. You could donate your time by visiting with the elderly or those wounded in combat. There are also many charities that could use volunteers to help build houses for families that have fallen on hard times. There are so many opportunities for you and me to make a difference in the lives of not just people in our own communities, but around the world. A Harvard Business School study ( suggests that we experience an increase in happiness when we give to charity.

Still on the fence? Charitable contributions are also tax deductible.