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In the United States, individuals make up more than 80% of all donations to charities and other nonprofit groups. While The Philanthropy Roundtable recognizes this as a global phenomenon, Americans donate seven times more than Europeans. Canadians come second, contributing approximately half as much as Americans.

Three main cultural distinctions incentivize Americans. An inherent spirit of entrepreneurship comes with the pursuit of the American Dream. Once a person succeeds and escapes poverty, they feel obligated to give back and aid others. Americans also have a strong social conscience. Throughout history, organizations like the ACLU, disaster relief programs, societal galas, and local food banks have been the cornerstone of humanity. As the most religious nation in the world, religion has always played a role in regular donations to local churches, synagogues, mosques, temples, and other religious institutions.

Depending on what people feel passionate about, categories are abundant regarding donating. Community development, animal rights, arts and culture, human rights, environmental protection, and public education are just a few examples. After choosing a cause to support, the next step is finding a legitimate organization to trust. Unfortunately, finding a reputable organization can be very time-consuming if handled alone. Charity Navigator is one of several resources that already have the research done. Their rating system is based on a charity’s financial health, the transparency of funds, and how well future funds will be utilized. 

Several nonprofit groups have been around for a long time, and with good reason. The American Humane Society was founded in 1877 to provide animal lovers with the best possible care for their pets. The organization helps animals find permanent and foster places to live through donations. It also promotes the bonds between humans and animals. The Cancer Research Institute is dedicated to finding a cure for all types of cancer by focusing on immunotherapy. It also runs programs that help develop new cancer researchers. One of the most prominent organizations fighting for racial justice in the US is Color Of Change, a civil rights organization with over 7 million members. It is dedicated to building a better world for African-Americans. The organization aims to celebrate Black joy and build strong communities through its programs. The Innocence Project, a nonprofit organization, works to overturn wrongful convictions by re-examining cold cases and ensuring that the criminal justice system is reformed. Using DNA evidence, over 350 individuals in the US have been freed from prison after being wrongfully convicted.