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Thursday, July 5, 2012

America's Tradition of Charitable Giving

What a better time to highlight America's tradition of charitable giving then right after the 4th of July? Here are just a few notable moments in our nation's philanthropic history that we should be proud of:
  • 1643 - The first account of a fundraising drive in America is organized by Harvard University. It raised 500 pounds.
  • 1917-Thanks to the Revenue Act of 1917, taxpayers can deduct their charitable contributions off their federal income taxes.
  • 1953 - Approximately 50,000 groups have obtained charity status from the IRS.
  • 1990 - Approximately 40,000 organizations apply for tax-exempt status this year. The number of charities has grown to nearly half a million (489,882).
  • 1999 -New legislation requires charities to provide copies of their three most recently filed Forms 990 to anyone who makes a request in-person or in writing.
  • December 26, 2004- Millions of Americans opened their wallets and give a total of $1.54 billion to support relief causes in the wake of the disastrous tsunami in South Asia.
  • April 2012 - Charity Navigator , the nation's largest and most-utilized evaluator of charities, turned 10!
Visit our site to learn more about America's giving history. And check out this page to learn more the types of Americans that give the most and how we compare with the Europeans.

Photo by H.Damke via Shutterstock.com.

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