Thanksgiving is just a few days away and some states are giving thanks for being named among the most charitable in the nation.
Boston College’s Center on Wealth and Philanthropy just released its list of the most generous states. New York topped the list, while North Dakota was at the bottom.
Unlike most surveys on giving, Boston College’s report included giving habits of the entire state’s population, not just of those with the highest level of income or personal wealth.
“There are many important characteristics that have an impact on the decisions individuals and families make about charitable giving,” said one of the authors of the report. “Religious affiliation, the presence of nonprofit organizations to create giving opportunities, ethnic differences, even the nature of work residents of an area traditionally engage in can have an effect.”
As I mentioned earlier, the survey listed New York as the leader in charitable giving among the 50 states. Rounding out the top ten was Washington, D.C., Utah, California, Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, Georgia, Massachusetts, and Hawaii.
Did your state make the top ten? My home state of Hawaii did. I’m not surprised (she said in the most humble way possible). It’s true. Local studies on Hawaii’s giving habits indicate as much. A 2002 study from the Hawaii Community Foundation showed that 92% of households made donations to charities the prior year. The Boston College study showed Hawaii’s total charitable contributions totaled about $688 million in 2004, with the mean contribution per household at $1,611.
Are you surprised by the survey’s results?