It is evident that Americans are donating considerably more to diseases that kill us less frequently. Not surprisingly, Breast Cancer receives $257 million in donations, the highest amount, but 41,374 deaths were reported. Conversely, heart disease, which claims over half a million American lives, receives a disproportionate $54 million dollars in donations.
What does this mean? It’s hard to point to one explanation. Perhaps Americans are thinking about diseases that affect the world’s population as opposed to just Americans, which would speak to why HIV received $14 million in donations from Americans, while taking 7,683 American lives. Maybe American donors are swayed by high profile campaigns, like the ALS ice bucket challenge, which raised $22.9 million dollars. Americans may be considering the amount of individuals affected by these diseases, as opposed to focusing on fatality rates. There’s a host of other factors that can explain why we donate to the disease-related charities that we do.
When making these donations, it’s key to consider the impact your donation will have. Some charities are more efficient in terms of program spending then others. Some focus on treatment and others focus on research. Before donating, decide both what kind of program you want to support and which organization will have the greatest impact.
Check out our Top 10 Best Practices of Savvy Donors for help determining where to donate.