Americans donated record amounts of money to charity in 2014. According to Giving USA, the grand tally for giving was $358.38 billion, the largest figure for charitable giving in the 60 years since it started keeping track of the numbers and the biggest total since the start of the Great Recession.
Most of those funds, 72 percent, came from individuals. Sure, there were super-rich donors—most of them young tech entrepreneurs—who dug deep. (Amir Pasic of Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, which crunches the numbers, said, “We saw several very large gifts greater than $200 million—a few were greater than $500 million and one was nearly $2 billion—in 2014.”) But the bulk of those dollars came from everyday Americans giving what they could. Meanwhile, 5 percent came from corporations, 15 percent from foundations and 8 percent from bequests.
So where are the most charitable Americans concentrated? Wallethub decided to do a bit of research to figure out “the most generous of the 50 states.” It didn’t just look at cash donated, but at factors including, but not limited to, volunteerism, the percentage of gross income donated and the increase in charitable donations. (I would argue that it would be interesting if activism for important social causes was included, but totally get the myriad reasons why it would be difficult to wrangle those numbers.)
Red states beat out blue states:
Wallethub also broke out the poorest and most charitable states, the richest and least charitable states, and those that fell in-between.
And it listed the 25 most generous states in order:
- South Dakota
- New Mexico