Philanthropy

The season of philanthropy

Data: Giving Tuesday; Chart: Axios Visuals

As noted in Axios' Philanthropy Deep Dive on Saturday, philanthropists are big-picture strategic thinkers who generally want to use their money to influence government. By their nature, they're generally unaccountable and undemocratic forces in society.

The big picture: Giving Tuesday, which just passed, is a countervailing force to the prevailing philanthropic winds. It serves no strategic purpose; it merely encourages ordinary citizens to give money to charity on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. (The bigger long-term trend is that household donations to charity are declining, rather than rising.)

Giving Tuesday poll: The causes Americans support

Data: SurveyMonkey online poll with a margin of error of ±2 percentage points; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Most Americans have donated their time and their money to social causes and charities in the last year, according to an Axios-SurveyMonkey poll on philanthropy that breaks down the most popular charitable giving causes.

The bottom line: Education tops the list of causes Americans have supported, followed by human services and health — but they give less to the arts and international affairs.