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Selective Givers

Our Selective givers, Michael Johnson and Linda Chesterfield, both attend religious services significantly less frequently; they are selective in their approach to religious involvement as well as giving. They both had a religious upbringing in the Catholic Church but do not consider faith as key to their day-to-day lives, as do the two Habitual givers. However, they have very high incomes, higher in fact than most of our Habitual and Planned givers. And they both have college degrees, reflecting the bump in the middle of Figure 3.11(c) that shows the high likelihood that those with college degrees who attend religious services semiregularly will be Selective givers.

Impulsive Givers

True to the predicted probability patterns, our three Impulsive givers—Cindy Phelps, Tanika Sandaval, and Regina Buckner—all attend religious services infrequently or never, and two have moderate income. None of these Impulsive givers names religious beliefs as a major motivator for their giving participation, though they all have had some religious exposure in their youth. Educational attainment appears not to play a major role in differentiating these cases, as they span the range from having a high school degree only, to some college, to an advanced degree.

Atypical Givers

Our Atypical giver, Deon Williams, does not have a college degree, has a modest income, and does not attend religious services regularly. He did, however, have some religious influence in his youth, which could be part of what differentiates him from being a nongiver. Though his income level is moderately high, he is the case we described previously as having residual poverty from his childhood that appears to dampen restrict his potential engagement with more generous giving.

Types of American Givers


Our case studies generally exemplify the trends we found in this chapter regarding the role of social status characteristics in differentiating giver types, including the trends of the predicted probabilities. The one notable exception to this is Susan Baker, our Planned giver who never attends religious services. Her high education level and moderate income, however, do mirror our predicted probabilities.

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