The Freedom to Give Fuels American Generosity: How to Protect Charitable Giving

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Americans are giving more money to charity than they've ever done in their lives, but there's a lot of room for improvement, according to an industry group.

In a report released Tuesday, the Giving USA Foundation found that Americans gave an average of $301,000 per year in 2016, up from $271,000 in 2000.

But that's down from an average of $315,000 in 2000, the New York Times reports.

The group says the drop is due to a number of factors, including a decline in the number of bequestsdonations made in memory or in memory of loved onesfrom highs in the 1980s to lows in the early 2000s.

As a result, Americans are giving less money to charity than they've ever done in their lives, according to the Giving USA Foundation.

In fact, the average amount donated per person in 2016 was the lowest it's been since 1977, the Times reports.

According to the Philanthropy Roundtable, the average amount donated per person in 2016 was $30, giving Americans the equivalent of one full year's worth of giving.

However, the average amount donated per person is expected to drop again in 2017, to $27, according to the Giving USA Foundation.

Elise Westhoff, CEO of the Philanthropy Roundtable, tells the

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