Muslim Americans are more generous givers toward charitable causes than the average non-Muslim U.S. adult, according to a report published last month by Indiana University’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.
Currently, Muslims comprise just over 1% of the U.S. population, but they are among the fastest growing faith communities in the nation. Pew Research Center reports that the Muslim population of the U.S. increased from 2.35 million in 2007 to 3.45 million in 2015, with growth projected to continue.
Average giving reported by Muslim respondents to the Lilly survey was $1,810 to faith-based and $1,400 to non-faith-based causes. By comparison, average giving reported by non-Muslims was $1,138 and $767, respectively.
Using Pew’s 3.45 million population estimate from 2015, this rate of giving would mean Muslims contribute $4.3 billion each year to charitable organizations — $2.4 billion to faith-based and $1.9 billion to non-faith-based causes.
More than one-quarter (27.45%) of total faith-based giving by Muslim Americans is to their house of worship, far below the 51.28% of non-Muslim giving.
The next two highest categories of faith-based charitable giving for Muslim Americans are overseas relief (12.81% of all philanthropic giving) and domestic relief (11.13%). Non-Muslim giving to these faith-based causes was just under 10% and just under 12%, respectively.
“One area within their faith community where Muslims spend more than any other faith group is civil rights protection for the members of their community,” the report said. “Muslims pay nearly 8.47% of their contributions toward civil rights, compared to 5.31% of the general public.”
Regarding non-faith-based giving, international relief accounted for the highest percentage of Muslim American giving at 18.84%, followed by domestic relief at 16.87%. By comparison, non-Muslim U.S. adults contributed 12.05% and 19.76%, respectively, to these causes.
For non-faith-based civil rights causes, Muslims again gave at a higher rate (11.87% of total giving) than non-Muslims (5.45%). They also gave more to COVID-19 relief efforts (14.26% compared to 6.65%) and to environmental causes (around 8% compared to around 6%).
Muslim respondents reported lower giving levels to health care (10.65%) than non-Muslims (13.25%) and to youth / family services (11.35% to 12.96%, respectively).
The full report is available here.