As times got tough in the recent recession, the less well-off of America's citizens became more generous when giving to charity. But at the same time, wealthy Americans cut the proportion of their incomes they donated, according to a new study that analyzed data from tax returns.
NPR's Pam Fessler reports:
"The study was done by the Chronicle of Philanthropy, which looked at IRS data showing charitable deductions in 2006 and 2012. The study found that Americans who earned $200,000 a year or more cut the share of income they gave to charity by 4.6 percent, while Americans earning less than $100,000 a year gave 4.5 percent more of their income to charity.
"Those with incomes of $25,000 or less saw the biggest increase. The share of their income that went to charity rose almost 17 percent. Low-income Americans primarily give to religious organizations."
While the wealthiest Americans cut how much of their incomes they sent to charity, the total amount of their donations rose, with the Chronicle saying their donations "increased by $4.6 billion, to hit $77.5 billion in 2012, using inflation-adjusted dollars."
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