Giving and Volunteering in the United States 2001

Independent Sector Survey Measures the Everyday Generosity of Americans

Giving and Volunteering in the United States

Additional Information

Independent Sector's Giving and Volunteering in the United States Signature Series provides a comprehensive picture of the giving and volunteering habits of Americans. Based on a national survey of more than 4,000 adults, this series of reports explores the why, how, and who behind the extraordinary everyday generosity—both in time and money—of American households. The Signature Series is sponsored by the MetLife Foundation.

Key findings:

Giving (households)

  • 89 percent of households give.
  • The average annual contribution for contributors is $1,620.

Volunteering (individuals)

  • 44 percent of adults volunteer.
  • 83.9 million American adults volunteer, representing the equivalent of over 9 millionfull-time employees at a value of $239 billion.

Giving and Volunteering in the United States, 2001

Executive Summary (PDF—for IS members only)
Key Findings from the 2001 survey (PDF)

In addition to the comprehensive report, the series includes six special topics:

  • Faith and Philanthropy: The Connection Between Charitable Behavior and Giving to Religion, in partnership with the National Council of Churches—a look at how donors to religion are the most generous givers to secular causes as well.
  • Engaging Youth in Lifelong Service: Findings and Recommendations for Encouraging a Tradition of Voluntary Action Among America's Youth, in partnership with Youth Service America—impact of childhood experiences on adult giving and volunteering, and tips for engaging more youth in service.
  • Giving in Tough Times: The Impact of Personal Economic Concerns on Giving and Volunteering, an examination of Americans' views on future household finances and their connection to giving decisions.
  • Deducting Generosity: The Effect of Charitable Tax Incentives on Giving—a look at how tax policy motivates giving at different income levels.
  • Experience at Work: Volunteering and Giving Among Americans 50 and Over, in partnership with AARP—findings and strategies for involving Americans 50 years of age and over in charitable activities.
  • A Nation of Givers: Regional Patterns in Giving and Volunteeringan exploration of the generosity of different regions of the United States.
Order Giving and Volunteering reports or subscribe to the Signature Series

The Giving and Volunteering Signature Series is made possible by generous support from

The research for Giving and Volunteering in the United States is sponsored by The Atlantic Philanthropies, The Ford Foundation, Lilly Endowment, and the members of Independent Sector.

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