’Tis the season for giving. And the latest World Giving Index shows that the United States has been the most generous country over the course of the last ten years. U.S. donors in 2018 gave more than $427 billion to charity, with 68 percent of the funds coming directly from individuals, according to the National Philanthropic Trust.
But Americans do more than reach in their pockets to help others. They also contribute their time — and plenty of it. Nearly 63 million people volunteer in the U.S., serving a combined total of 7.9 billion hours per year, the equivalent of $184 billion of service.
Not everyone is equally selfless, however. In the spirit of inspiring altruism, WalletHub determined the most charitable of the 50 states by comparing them across 19 key indicators of charitable behavior. Our data set ranges from volunteer rate to share of income donated to share of sheltered homeless. Read on for our findings, additional insight from our panel of experts and a full description of our methodology.
Want to give back instead of receiving this holiday season? Use WalletHub’s Charity Calculator to help you determine how best to pitch in, depending on your resources and availability. You can also see where your money will be used most effectively by reading WalletHub’s report on 2020’s Best Charities to Donate to.
Most Charitable States in America
*No. 1 = Most Charitable
Difference between the Percent of Population Who Claim to Have Donated Money and the Percent of Taxpayers Who Donated Money to Charity
Generosity of Red vs. Blue
Millennial Volunteering Rate Over Time
Ask the experts
Not all charities are created equal. Choosing among them — in addition to deciding whether to give money, time or both and how much — can be a challenge. To help donors plan ahead and to provide insight on various charity issues, we asked a panel of experts to share their thoughts on the following key questions:
- What are the biggest challenges facing U.S.-based charities in the current economic environment?
- What percentage of income should households donate to charity?
- What advice do you have for choosing the right charity?
- Do you believe charities should face increased regulations and scrutiny in order to reduce fraud?
- Should all nonprofits be able to receive tax-deductible contributions regardless of their mission?