Older Americans most generous

Almost all Americans give money to charity, but it’s the nation’s senior citizens that dig deepest to donate, a new study says.

Nine in 10 people have contributed to charity within the last few years, giving an average of 4.1 percent of their income, says the “My Cause” survey commissioned by SunTrust Bank, but people 55 and over give 4.6 percent of their earnings, more than any other age group.

Younger adults, ages 18 to 34, give the lowest share at 3.8 percent, while those ages 35 to 53 years give 4 percent of their income to charity.

That general trend holds true for all causes, with support increasing with age, except for the environment, which one in four people across all age groups support.

Religious causes are the beneficiary of more than half of American donors, the study says, followed closely by poverty/hunger and disaster relief.

Giving seems to be linked to support in general, with virtually all those who have given money also providing other assistance, compared to only about three in four of those who have not recently donated, the study says.

Americans expect the companies they patronize to give as well, with seven in ten respondents saying they are more likely to do business with a company that supports charitable causes.

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