“A more generous world is a better world.” That was one of the premises of the Science of Generosity Initiative that Christian Smith led at the University of Notre Dame. The project funded nine subgrants working on generosity as well as Smith’s own research. You can access a 2-minute summary about the hopes for the project in this video.
Ultimately, the project led to a book, The Paradox of Generosity by Christian Smith and Hilary Davidson. If you’d like to get a taste of the contents before committing to a whole book (or just need a shorter version), these two articles touch on many of the researchers discoveries, especially about Americans and generosity:
The Generosity Paradox: By Giving We Receive, But By Taking We Lose
Giving money away makes us happy. Then why do so few of us do it?