America’s Giving Trends

America’s giving trends offer significant insight into regional giving, which actually highlights sizeable divisions. While many political analysts divide states into blue and red presidential zones, charitable organizations also analyze how these divisions impact donations.

Studies actually show that people who reside in red states, which are typically Republican, are more likely to make charitable donations either in-person or via online giving apps. However, there are certain states that really stand out, such as Mississippi and Utah, that give nearly seven-percent of their incomes to charities. This amount is factored after taxes, including living expenses, food and other housing costs. In New England, states such as Massachusetts, donate less than three-percent after taxes. This same statistic holds true statewide, with metropolitan areas such as Birmingham, Alabama, and Salt Lake City, Utah, giving close to seven-percent with Providence, Rhode Island, and Boston, Massachusetts, averaging close to statewide averages at three-percent.

Researchers believe the stark charitable giving discrepancies are related to philosophical differences between government roles versus those of charitable organizations. In fact, thirteen U.S. states feature tax deductions and benefits for people that donate to charities, which is actually an attempt to promote more charitable giving. States that offer tax incentives really do have a positive impact on charitable giving. Arizona tax breaks have allowed charities to take in $100-million annually.

By pulling tax return data from the IRS, studies show that people who earned more than $50,000 donated an average of 4.7-percent of their incomes. This income group was responsible for more than $135-billion to charities.

Common misconceptions are that rich, high-income earners are more generous, but studies show that low-income earners actually give more income to charity. People that earn between $50,000 to $75,000 give nearly 7.6-percent of their incomes to charities, with $100,000 income and more earners giving 4.2-percent to charities.

Religion does influence giving trends, with more religious states, such as Idaho and Utah, giving nearly 10-percent of their total annual incomes to churches and religious causes. The top nine charitable states are all located in America’s Bible Belt region. When religion is discounted, Northeastern states rate higher, with New York climbing from rating 18th to second.

Generally, people donate to organizations and causes that are near to their hearts. Whatever helps forge a connection and makes people passionate, helps boost donations.

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