The Atlantic

Why Don't America's Rich Give More to Charity?

They could certainly afford to donate bigger sums, but something seems to be holding them back.
Source: Gary Hershorn / Corbis / Getty

The rising wealth of the top tier of earners seems to be inaugurating a new age of charitable giving. More than 150 billionaires from around the world have now signed Bill and Melinda Gates’ Giving Pledge, promising to donate at least half of their fortunes to charity. Others give money to hospitals, parks, or schools, renaming them in the process; in New York City, Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall is now known as David Geffen Hall, while the historic 42nd Street library is called the Steven A. Schwarzman Building.

Such grand philanthropic donations are visible and public-facing, but they distract from a broader pattern in charitable giving: As a group, the wealthy do donate more money overall, but as a proportion of earnings, many of them give less than those with that while households with annual earnings of less than $50,000 were less likely to donate any money to charity than those earning more than that, if they did donate, they gave a greater percentage of their income than those wealthier than them. A survey by

Você está lendo uma amostra, registre-se para ler mais.

Mais de The Atlantic

The AtlanticLeitura de 4 mins
What Novelists Can Learn From Playwrights
Editor’s Note: Read Brontez Purnell’s new short story, “Early Retirement.” “Early Retirement” is taken from Brontez Purnell’s forthcoming novel-in-stories, 100 Boyfriends (available on February 2). To mark the story’s publication in The Atlantic, Pu
The AtlanticLeitura de 5 minsPsychology
Stop Keeping Score
“How to Build a Life” is a column by Arthur Brooks, tackling questions of meaning and happiness. Starting today, the column will be published weekly on Thursday mornings. I am an inveterate scorekeeper. I can go back decades and find lists of goals I
The AtlanticLeitura de 7 minsWorld
Joe Biden Has a Europe Problem
The new president has a daunting list of foreign-policy challenges. Among the biggest will be managing a longtime ally.