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Giving to Organizations that Help People in Need: Differences Across Denominational Identities

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Abstract:

This article uses multiple-year data to examine charitable giving to organizations that help people in need of food, shelter, or other basic necessities. Families that give to basic necessity organizations in any single year are a mix of occasional givers and regular givers. Controlling for family characteristics that affect giving, giving to basic necessity organizations does not vary across Christian denominations and nonaffiliated families in any notable way. However, Jewish families are both more likely to give and, when they do give, give larger amounts. Given recent policy interest in how churches, synagogues, and mosques help with the voluntary provision of a safety net for people in need, the results draw attention to the importance of a research agenda focused on the differences between occasional givers and regular givers and on explaining why Jewish families give more to organizations that help people in need.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-5906.2010.01518.x

Affiliations: Department of Economics, IUPUI andCenter on Philanthropy at Indiana University

Publication date: September 1, 2010

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