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Report: Americans most charitable in the world

Thursday - 12/26/2013, 6:54am  ET

WASHINGTON - They're brushed off as being "the 1 percent," but the most wealthy Americans are also the most charitable on the planet.

Sometimes respected but many times reviled, rich Americans are in a super-generous mood this holiday season with many charities reporting donations higher this year than last, reports Politico.

Americans are the most charitable in the world -- contributing more than $300 billion per year. The value increases by $260 billion when volunteer time is factored in.

Schwab Charitable -- which offers donor-advised funds -- says it has seen an 80 percent increase this year when it comes to giving. Wall Street's recent rise and higher tax rates drove a lot of the growth since wealthy donors often give gifts of securities, according to Politico.

Wealthy donors can skip capital gains taxes on any stocks they donate to charity and then deduct the market value of the stock at tax time.

And charities have been reminding their repeat donors that this is their last chance this year to use donations to cut their tax bill.

In fact, the Chronicle of Philanthropy sees things bouncing back to pre-financial crisis levels. Some donors are giving appreciated securities now because they fear that stock market won't do as well through 2014.

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