Six most generous nations: US ties for fifth

Which country has the most generous people in the world? A poll of 153 countries ranked global philanthropy in three categories: individual donations, volunteer time, and the number of people willing to help a stranger. Gallup’s 2010 World Giving Index Report was released Wednesday.

By , Contributor

6. United States

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    Former First Lady Laura Bush congratulates two Idaho residents at the 2009 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards.
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The US tied with Switzerland for fifth place.

In the US:

• 60 percent donate to organizations.

• 39 percent volunteer at organizations.

• 65 percent help a stranger.

Looking at the region more broadly, the poll ranks older North Americans as more likely to donate than young North Americans. Some 76 percent of North Americans over 50 volunteered in the past month, whereas only 34 percent of 15- to 24-year-olds volunteered.

“When it comes to philanthropy, Americans do a lot but they can always do more,” said Janet Boyd, president of Charities Aid Foundation America (CAFAmerica), which released the Gallup poll. She said on a conference call with reporters that the US ranking could improve with companies engaging their workers and getting the younger population more involved.

US philanthropy declined by 4.8 percent this year due to the economic recession, added Susan Saxon-Harrold, CAFAmerica CEO. She also stated that 48 percent of Americans donated to religious organizations.

Click on right arrow to see No. 5

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