American donations to charity show widening gap between rich and poor

The U.S. cleared a generous milestone in 2017, with Americans donating a record amount to charity. But the numbers are also a reminder of the persistent gap between rich and poor.

Charities raked in $410.2 billion from generous Americans last year, but much of that money came from the richest households, according Giving USA’s annual report on philanthropy.

For several decades, about two-thirds of American household consistently gave to charity. But that rate fell during the Great Recession, said Una Osili, the associate dean for research and international programs at Indiana University’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. Osili was a co-author of the Giving USA report.

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