11/08 - Louisiana and the Limits of Charity

How will hurricane expenses, unstable gasoline prices and a floundering economy affect Louisianans’ ability to give?

Thanksgiving is a time when many minds turn towards charitable giving. How will hurricane expenses, unstable gasoline prices and a floundering economy affect Louisianans’ ability -- and willingness --to give? Are we as kindhearted as we think? Find out on the next edition of Louisiana Public Square, “Louisiana and the Limits of Charity” Wednesday, November 26th at 7 p.m. on LPB.

Backgrounder

How Generous Are Americans?

Americans are a generous people. Giving USA 2008, a publication of the Giving USA Foundation/Center on Philanthropy, covers estimated giving in 2007, which reached $306.39 billion, setting a new record. Giving is 2.2 percent of gross domestic product.

Individuals accounted for 74.8 percent of all giving in 2007. That came to just over $229 billion, a 0.1 percent drop from 2006, after inflation. Just over half of donations from individuals last year were directed to religious organizations, which received a total of $102.32 billion.

Foundations provided 12.6 percent of all giving in the US [see "Louisiana Foundations" pdf for list of the top 50 Louisiana Foundations].

Many factors influence giving. According to a 2007 Bank of America study, in the general US population, educational attainment is correlated with charitable giving levels. The more education a person receives, the more they give to charity even when controlling for differences in income and wealth.

Click for Complete Backgrounder in pdf format.

Links below relate to the Public Square that airs tonight.

Northwest Louisiana American Red Cross:
http://www.louisianaredcross.org/

Capital Area United Way: capitalareaunitedway.org

Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organizations:
http://www.lano.org

LT. Governor's Office of Social Entrepreneurship:
http://www.crt.state.la.us/ltgovernor/socialentrepreneurship/

Volunteer Louisiana:
http://www.volunteerlouisiana.gov


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Our Panelists:

This program was also funded in part by the Louisiana Forestry Association

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