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Giving Numbers: Why, What, and How Are We Counting?

This post was originally published here (Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy)

This paper explores the history of charitable statistics in the United States, outlining three distinct waves of interest over the last century in the measurement of charitable giving. The methodological approaches of each, the paper demonstrates, were shaped by the perspectives and purposes of the group most committed to the project of measurement. The paper then suggests that we are in the midst of another such wave and puts forward a few key questions to consider when analyzing those statistics in an effort to increase the amount or impact of charitable giving.

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Author: Benjamin Soskis

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