Deep Pockets for Doing Good

Charitable Contributions Are More Generous Than Ever

At the turn of the century, when robber barons were amassing embarrassingly large fortunes, charity sometimes served as a form of atonement, a guilt tax for living so well. Nowadays, says David Rockefeller, who as chairman of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund has overseen the donation of $342 million of his family's immense wealth to worthy causes, philanthropy can be, well, "a lot of fun."

It certainly seemed to be for the nearly 5 1/2 million Americans who lined up singing and laughing across America on Memorial Day weekend to raise money for the hungry and homeless. Hands Across America was but...

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