THE INTEREST OF most Americans in nonprofit, and especially in charitable, organization work has long been a notable feature of American society - having been remarked upon as early as the 1830's in Baron de Tocqueville's analysis of American democracy.' That tendency continues today, even in times of economic recession. The economic crunch of 1975-76 saw an increase, not a decrease, in American donations to charitable organizations:' specifically, a 6.5 percent increase in charitable donations ($26.88 billion in 1975, compared to $25.23 billion in 1974), though contributions by foundations and businesses declined by 4.7 and 4 percent respectively. Religious charities were the prime recipients, taking 43.5 percent of the total ($11.68 billion); health related charities received 15 percent ($4.01 billion); education declined by 3.5 percent ($3.59 billion); social welfare agencies received $2.46 billion, with United Way campaigns raising over one billion dollars for the first time. At the same time, though no similar pecuniary data are available, there is no doubt that generally nonprofit (excluding charitable) organization activity, such as clubs and societies, continued to increase, while individual-hours devoted to business (profit) activity continued to decrease.
"Trends in Nonprofit Corporation Law in 1976,"
Akron Law Review: Vol. 10
, Article 4.
Available at: http://ideaexchange.uakron.edu/akronlawreview/vol10/iss1/4