The citizens of the USA are generous in giving charity – just make sure it counts because not all charities are equal. Some very legitimate sounding ones are a complete rip-off only making the officers of the charity rich and doing nothing, or nearly nothing, for the targeted cause. If you look at the National Center for Charitable Statistics, we give an amazing $228.93 billion of which 72% is by individuals. Overall, we contribute between 2.4 – 5.9% of our income. Unfortunately, the lower end of the range is from higher end of the professional salaries. I guess in route to becoming truly rich or becoming frustrated in not yet being rich, donations become a lower priority.
I strongly suggest you take a look at the ratings on a site like Charity Navigator. It does not rank charities, but rates them as 4-star through 0-star in terms of effectiveness and does not discriminate by cause. Whether you chose to give to Carolina Flood Relief, Breast Cancer, Religious organizations, Animals, etc., they can help your dollars reach the right audience. The American people certainly fortunate and for most of us, it is a land of opportunity. Yet for many, both in this country and around the world, it is not so and they could benefit from your help and a fraction of your resources. Please consider and give generously and wisely.
As a matter of disclosure, I do give Charity Navigator a small annual donation which my employer, IBM, matches.