According to a recent article, poor people give a larger percentage of their income to charity than middle-class or upper-class people:
While it’s nice to know that even the poor are generous (although, they probably shouldn’t be giving away that money), I don’t feel particularly good about the fact that many of them are giving to the church. I understand that many churches do good things for the poor, but it seems that the poor are also paying money into the church — which might make it a little bit of “in one pocket, out from the other pocket”. I can make a few guesses as to why this is the case: the poor tend to be more religious, and they also think that by giving to God (via the church), that God will reward them back for the generosity. (Case in point: the St.Matthews Church scam.) It’s rather sad. One quote from the article:
To explain her giving, Davis offered the two reasons most commonly heard in three days of conversations with low-income donors:
“I believe that the more I give, the more I receive, and that God loves a cheerful giver,” Davis said. “Plus I’ve been in their position, and someday I might be again.”
Herbert Smith, 31, a Seventh-day Adventist who said he tithed his $1,010 monthly disability check — giving away 10 percent of it — thought that poor people give more because, in some ways, they worry less about their money.
Faith probably matters most, Brooks — who’s the president of the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative Washington policy-research organization — said in an interview. That’s partly because above-average numbers of poor people go to church, and church attenders give more money than non-attenders to secular and religious charities, Brooks found.
Moreover, disproportionate numbers of poor people belong to congregations that tithe.