In case you missed it over the holidays, a survey for the Wall Street Journal conducted by Harris Interactive found that 83% of Americans contributed to a charity in 2006, with average total giving of $1220 (down about a hundred bucks from 2005).

Here are the categories used, with percentage of respondents giving to each.

Religious 35%
Hunger/food 34%
Health/disease 31%
Disaster 27% (down from 49% in Katrina’s 2005)
Shelter 26%
Animal 23%
Education 20%
Arts 10%
Other 15%

Some demographic breakdowns are avaliable in the downloadable PDF, but nothing remarkable overall (unless you’re struck by the fact that we contibute more to the welfare of beleaguered pets than to our childrens’ education). It’s unfortunate that these generic polls do not distinguish cause giving from charities; nor do they include contributions to political campaigns.

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