From Axios Finish Line, here’s a stat to savor: America was the world’s most generous country this past decade, according to the Charities Aid Foundation’s World Giving Index, which surveyed 1.3 million people in 125 countries.
- Not only do we give money, but 72% of Americans help strangers and 42% of us volunteer.
- We grew more generous during the pandemic: 2020 and 2021 donations each topped 2019.
Why it matters: This cuts across religion, region and age, with nearly 60% of Americans giving money last year. Average donation: $574.
Trend to watch: There’s a big surge in people setting up Facebook and TikTok fundraisers in lieu of birthday presents. You might roll your eyes at the exhibitionist dimension of public giving … but it beats the alternative.
- Facebook says birthday fundraisers bring in hundreds of millions of dollars a year. Top beneficiaries include St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the Alzheimer’s Association, the American Cancer Society and No Kid Hungry.
- Try it.
An even newer, real-time wave to surf: Booking an Airbnb stay in Ukraine — not to visit but as a way to send money to a family in need.
- Last week, 61,000 nights were booked at Airbnbs in Kyiv and other cities — 34,000 of them by Americans.
- Try it.
Tip to go: Be careful when giving. These four sites, all recommended by the Federal Trade Commission, let you verify whether a charity is reputable:
And remember, if you want a deduction, you can make sure the charity qualifies by hitting the IRS Tax Exempt Organization Search.