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America’s wealthiest lead world in giving

December 9, 2010

What makes America such a giving place, led by millionaires who continue to make headlines about the importance of giving even more? A recent survey by Barclays Wealth, “Global Giving: The Culture of Philanthropy,” measures the resources being invested into charity and causes by wealthy people across the world, using both money and time as gauges for the first timereports that 41 percent of millionaires in the U.S. say philanthropy is one of their top three spending priorities.

That compares to 37 percent of millionaries in South Africa, 32 percent of those in Saudi Arabia and 30 percent of those in Ireland. In some countries, including the U.S., the rich report that they give both time and money, but that’s not true in South America, Taiwan and Saudi Arabia, for example.

Is there something about America that, even today, makes us conscious of the fact that not everyone has an equal start in the wealth game? Is it religious influence? What about tax laws?

We’ve always found that charity comes from inside and that you can’t influence a person to give if they don’t already have the impulse. The reasons for that impulse may be as varied as the person or, in our case, the country. At least this is one ranking the U.S. can be proud to lead.

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