SOURCE: Author John Killinger

Author John Killinger

June 30, 2011 12:22 ET

Do the Poorest Give the Most?

Pastor Reveals Why Giving Is Its Own Reward for Those Who Don't Have Much

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - Jun 30, 2011) - Americans are known for giving until it hurts, but it's ironic that the people who can afford to give the least are generally the ones who give the most.

According to a recent survey on giving, those who earn less than $20,000 become twice as charitable as those who earn $100,000, even though they donate one fourth as much. Other findings included:

  • Americans give $300 billion to charities each year.
  • There are 973,354 public charities in the US who collect more than $1.3 trillion dollars -- more than the US government collects in taxes!
  • The wealthiest 10 percent of Americans account for 25 percent of the amount of money received by charities.
  • When calculated as a percentage of income, the poorest people become the most charitable.
  • Conservatives are more likely to give than Liberals.
  • Religious people give more to secular causes than secular people do.

None of these findings are surprising to John Killinger, author of "The Zacchaeus Solution" (, a fictional account of a pastor and his wife who gave half their wealth to save two church employees from being laid off, and sparked a national phenomenon.

"I think Americans innately understand how good people feel when they use part of what they have to relieve others who are suffering, especially during these hard economic times," Killinger said. "If you want to feel good and truly enjoy life, then simply share part of your comfort and means with others. What we lose in the bank account, we gain threefold in our spirit."

In the age of government bailouts, Killinger believes that we should be more mindful of taking care of each other, instead of waiting for a handout from Uncle Sam.

"We really don't need the government to make things better," he said. "We can do it ourselves, and have done it ourselves, much more efficiently and successfully both individually and in groups."

About John Killinger

John Killinger was educated at Baylor, the University of Kentucky, Harvard and Princeton. He remembers when he was ordained as a Baptist preacher and pastored his first church at the age of eighteen. Seven churches, seven colleges, universities, and divinity schools later -- and seventy books with his name on them -- he is still on message.

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