So who in the world gives the most?

Getting a handle on comparative charitable giving on a country-by-country basis is tricky. Varying definitions and tax structures cloud the issue.

A study by the Comparative Nonprofit Sector Project at Johns Hopkins University's Institute for Policy Studies shows the percentage of nonprofit revenue from private giving in selected countries:

France 47%

Germany 36

Spain 36

Finland 35

United Kingdom 29

United States 27

Netherlands 24

Australia 23

Why does the US figure above seem low, given that individuals chipped in more than 75 percent of the country's charitable contributions last year? (See chart, page 18.)

Monetary contributions received by nonprofits - the $190 billion cited in this section - are just a portion of nonprofit revenue. The percentages from Johns Hopkins also factors in funding from government, fees for services (tuition at nonprofit schools, for example), as well as the value of volunteer labor.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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