A. In 2006, Americans gave about $295 billion to charity. This was up 4.2 percent over 2005 levels, and charitable giving has generally risen faster than the growth of the American economy for more than half a century. Correcting for inflation and population changes, GDP per person in America has risen over the past 50 years by about 150 percent, while charitable giving per person has risen by about 190 percent. That is, the average American family has gotten much richer in real terms over the past half century, and charitable giving has more than kept pace with this trend.