The United States is the most charitable nation on the planet.
I believe that government has gotten involved in far too many charities. The federal government should only concern itself with those functions outlined in the Constitution and none other. Since the start of the war on poverty in 1965, the United States has spent more than $6 trillion trying to reduce poverty. But instead of reducing poverty, we have gotten more poverty. When government comes in and usurps the roles of charities it crowds out the private charities. Persons in need must line up and ask the government for help. The rules are rigid and the whole process is unforgiving and uncompassionate. When charities are run by private organizations, the public has the option of choosing to fund those charities that are run well, and have a high dollar intake to outlay ratio. People are free to not give money to those charities that are not run well. Competition even in the non-profit arena works well. After all, if charity A gives 80 cents for every dollar they take in, and charity B gives out 50 cents for every dollar they take in, which one will you chose to give to? And I venture to say that the government has an even worse ratio. But forced government participation in only the charitable functions that government handles has caused the termination of many private charities. Thus, we have no choice but to beg the government to do what the public asks for.
I support ending this cycle by making a dollar for dollar income tax credit for any non-profit organization that one wants to give to. This way, if a taxpayer doesn't like spending on wars, but does want to help students go to college, they can give to those organizations they believe it. If a person doesn't want to fund abortion via the government, or support religions they don't like, they don't have to participate. This will cause the government to compete for the dollars and in turn will make it much more efficient in what it does, since it must then be accountable for what it spends, or else people will not fund it. Charities will get much more funding because now everyone has free choice, and can choose which organizations get their money.