The Gift of Generosity
The ongoing humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, which began with Russian’s invasion in February of this year, has summoned a worldwide response in the form of charitable aid, in addition to the military support Ukraine has received from the US and other nations. People around the world have been donating to relief organizations that are providing food, clean water, and shelter to those who have been bombed out of their homes. Overall, US citizens and the US government have provided by far the largest contribution, equivalent to $7.6 billion, while neighboring Poland, in second place, has given roughly $1 billion. The UK, Germany, and France round out the top five when it comes to helping their neighbor.
By another measure, however, the US would rank sixth. When aid is presented as a percentage of the country’s total gross domestic product (GDP), Estonia is by far the most generous nation, having contributed just under 0.8% of the value of its economy to aid the Ukrainians in distress. Poland comes in a distant second, with less than 0.2% of its economy, and the US contribution is less than half of one-tenth of a percent.
Looking at a broader picture, this raises an interesting question: Which country has historically tended to have the most generous citizens? A report by the Inside Charity nonprofit news source cites a survey that strongly suggests that Americans win the title of “most generous” and have been winning it for the nearly 250 years of the country’s existence.
The most recent data show that roughly 66% of all Americans, from the top to the bottom of the income spectrum, have donated to at least one charity in the past year, and 34% did so more than once. Nearly three-fourths (71%) of the respondents said that their debt has kept them from donating; they wish they could have given more.
They seem to be stepping up to the current crisis. Overall, Ukraine has received more than 600 non-government humanitarian grants from American citizens and companies, totaling just under $900 million. Charities like Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Open Society Foundation have donated $10 million and $25 million respectively in humanitarian aid, and the American Red Cross has donated $12 million in relief funds. Sunflower Railroad, a group of military veterans and emergency health professionals, are in the process of donating an ambulance to Ukraine—perhaps suggesting that Americans also lead the world in philanthropic creativity.
If you would like to participate in humanitarian relief to Ukrainians, you might investigate one or more of the following websites:
Along with many others
At Bernhardt Wealth Management, we offer professional, fiduciary advice and financial guidance to those who wish to make philanthropy a part of their ongoing legacy. To learn more, click here to read our article, “Giving to Help Ukraine—The Smart Way.”