They say that charity begins at home, and according to "Psychology Today" magazine, Americans are the most charitable people on earth-- There are over 1.5 million non-profit and charitable organizations in the United States. 7 out of every 10 adults in the country give away money. And charitable contributions last year exceeded the 5 billion dollar mark, despite the weak economy. But why do we give so much? According to "Psychology Today," there are a few strong emotional reasons why we open up our wallets:
- Compassion. Most of us have immigrant roots. Our own families came to the United States with few or no resources. We have a strong national feeling for the underdog; anybody can make it if they're given a chance to succeed.
- We also like to feel powerful and giving money away gives us a sense of being in control. This may explain why families living on $10,000 dollars a year give away an average of 4 percent of their income, while families earning $100,000 dollars a year donate just 1 percent.