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US-Israel Relations: Charitable Giving

Charitable Giving

According to the Board of Directors of American Support for Israel, well over a third of all Jewish charitable giving in the United States goes towards Israel and Israeli causes.  Israel recieves 38% of all money donated by Jewish individuals in the United States, and Israeli companies know that it is easier to raise funds from the United States than from within their own country.  Yearly, Israel brings in on average anywhere from $1.5-2 billion in US charitable donations.  The United States and Israel lead the world in percentage of GDP donated yearly to charity, with the US donating 1.85% and Israel coming in second with yearly donations of 1.34% of it's GDP. 

In Arthur C Brook's study titled "A Nation of Givers", he came to the conclusion that the social and economic climate in the United States causes individuals to donate more of their personal money to charity.  According to the study each American household gives an average of $1,000 per year to charitable causes, and Brooks attributed the high number of charitable donations to the tax system in the United States.  Brooks found that although the richest 10% of the US population accounted for almost a quarter of all donations, the poorest people often gave the most to charity compared to their yearly income.  He states that since poorer people tend to be more religious, religious charitable organizations recieve a lot of money from them. 

Residents of the United States give more of their hard-earned money to charity than any other population, with about a third of that money going towards religious organizations and causes.  The amount of money donated to international causes by US citizens has skyrocketed over the last decade, rising 127% from $8.4 billion to $19.1 billion between 2000 and 2012 according to Global Impact's 2013 Assessment of US Giving to International Causes.  This report also showed that online charitable donations have increased 7% since 2010, with the fastest growing sector being donations to religious organizations.  Israel holds religious significance and is an international cause, and the United States tax code makes it attractive to make charitable donations because of the tax breaks associated with the donation.  These factors contribute to the US being a major source of money for Israeli charitable organizations. 


Sources:, Jerusalem Post, Forbes, American