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Some Fun – Raising Trivia for All Fundraisers

harpers index


There is so much information at our fingertips; I find it hard to set up the best filters to keep from being overwhelmed. I have to admit, one of my favorite sources of quick, yet often profound information is the Harper’s Index. If you are not familiar with it, I recommend checking it out… as well as each monthly issue.

The tidbits are usually all over the board, but some are interesting to know and can be quite useful in our work. They help to expand our understanding of the world, human behavior, economic rationality and irrationality and the general environment that may affect fundraising.


Number of Harvard fellowships endowed by members of Osama bin Laden’s family since 1992: 10

Source: Harvard University

Percentage of Americans who would allow “churches and other houses of worship” to seek federal funds for charitable work: 75% Source:The Pew Research Center

Minimum number of yachts that were donated to U.S. charities in 2001: 527

Source: Harper’s research

Rank of Detroit among major U.S. cities whose residents give the largest portion of their income to charity: 1st Source: The Chronicle of Philanthropy

Average percentage by which an article of clothing that has been donated is overvalued for tax purposes : 600% Source: IRS

20 days after Katrina hit the first strip club was reopened in New Orleans. What percentage of their income from “dollar dances” did its strippers donate to relief efforts:

100% Source: Harper’s research

Amount that Bear, Stearns’ chairman donated to a New York hospital in 1998 to sponsor Viagra for the poor: $1,000,000 Source: Harper’s research

Increase since 2009 in the number of people over the age of 55 who are working : 3,710,000 Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Rank of “attire” among the leading reasons “millennials” are unsuccessful in job interviews : #1 Source: Adecco Staffing (N.Y.C.)

Percentage increase since 1982 in the portion of U.S. college students with a “problematic” level of narcissism: 60% Source: Jean Twenge, San Diego State University

Percentage of the Bush tax cuts made permanent by the “fiscal cliff” compromise: 82% … Portion of American households that will have a higher tax rate in 2013 as a result of the deal : 75% Source: Harper’s research

Portion of U.S. doctors who say they would discourage an aspirant from joining the profession : 9/10 Source: The Doctors Company (Napa, Calif.)

Percentage change since 1997 in the number of U.S. businesses with no employees : +47% Source: The Urban Institute

Percentage change since 2002 in the average annual income of a recent college graduate : –8% … Change in the average debt load from student loans : +70%

Source: National Center for Education Statistics

Percentage of liberal Americans who would prefer a large house to a “walkable” community: 32% … Of conservative Americans: 69%

Source: Pew Research Center

Percentage of U.S. counties in which the proportion of racial minorities has grown since 2010: 94% Source: Pew Charitable Trusts

Amount Americans spent last year on UNICEF donations to trick-or-treaters: $3,731,057 Source: UNICEF

On Halloween costumes for their pets: $330,000,000

Source: National Retail Federation

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