Tag Archives: charity

American Grace co-author David Campbell on religion and giving



David Campbell (Co-Author of American Grace) has a piece in TIME.com on the link between religion and giving.


Over the last twenty years, one of the most stunning changes to the American social landscape has been the dramatic rise in the percentage of Americans who report having no religious affiliation—the group that has come to be known as the “nones.” Today, 20 percent of Americans disclaim a religious affiliation,and among millennials, it is over 30 percent. At the same time, there has been a growing debate over whether the secularization of society will lead to a decrease in charitable giving, with secularists—whether they consider themselves atheists, agnostics, or humanists—tending to argue that fewer religious Americans will simply mean fewer contributions to pay for churches and synagogues that fewer Americans are attending anyway.

Not exactly. A new report by Jumpstart and the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy details the many ways that religion and the charitable sector are intertwined. Based on a major national survey, this report finds that three-quarters of all household charitable giving goes to organizations that have religious ties. These span the range from large organizations like the Salvation Army (which, many Americans do not realize, is actually a church) to small soup kitchens run out of church basements.

Read the rest of David Campbell’s “Religious People are More Charitable” (TIME.com, 11/26/13)

Would you dine with a stranger for charity?

Stranger dining - photo by memetic

Stranger dining - photo by memetic

Eco-activist Franke James was invited in an e-mail by a stranger to dine with her (in her home) and in exchange have $200  contributed to the charity of her choice?  Would you do it?  At what price?

The question raises social capital questions of trust of strangers and raises interesting questions of when chance encounters lead to interesting new ties.

Franke James probably would have felt like a chump if it had come to violence or roberry but she chose to trust (after an initial Google search of her dinner stranger).  Here’s the whimsical tale of what happened.

James think this might be a really nice model for doing good (getting money donated to charity) while meeting strangers (that might help build new social ties).