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Giving and Volunteering in the US

Independent Sector's Giving and Volunteering in the United States (2001) provided 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 explored the why, how, and who behind the extraordinary everyday generosity -- both in time and money -- of American households.

Also, researchers continue to take advantage of the data from the 2001 survey. To support their work, the data files can be obtained for free from Canada.

Published documents

All of the following materials are available as pdfs.

Giving and Volunteering in the United States (2001)  

Key Findings from the 2001 survey

The series included a number of special topics:

  • Deducting Generosity: The Effect of Charitable Tax Incentives on Giving—a look at how tax policy motivates giving at different income levels.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.


The Giving and Volunteering series was made possible by generous support from the



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

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