The “have” society isn’t parting with its money as much anymore.
The Chronicle of Philanthropy survey says the wealthiest Americans aren’t giving as much of their wealth. At the same time, those who, perhaps, can least afford it are giving.
Only three counties in Minnesota — Pipestone, Stevens (Morris) and Kandiyohi (Willmar) — have a “giving ratio” of more than 4.12%.
Overall, Mississippi — perhaps the poorest state in the country — is second in giving, according to the analysis of census and tax revenue data. Utah is #1. Minnesota is well back in the pack, the survey said.
Says the Associated Press:
According to the report, changes in giving patterns were most pronounced in major cities, where the percentage of income that residents donated dropped markedly between 2006 and 2012. In Philadelphia and Buffalo, New York, the share of income given to charity fell by more than 10 percent; there was a 9 percent drop in Los Angeles, Minneapolis-St. Paul and Washington, D.C.
Tami Phillips of the Midnight Mission, a Los Angeles charity serving homeless people, credited gifts from low- and moderate-income people, for helping sustain its programs during the recession.
“It hits closer to home,” said Phillips. “Any day, they too could become homeless.”
The Chronicle’s editor, Stacy Palmer, noted that wealthy donors, overall, were more oriented toward support of the arts and higher education than lower-income donors, and less oriented toward support of social-service charities.
The Washington Post says the states’ rankings correspond with the percentage of people who are regular church-goers.
Utah residents proved to be the most generous, with a giving rate of 6.6 percent — for every $1,000 they brought in, they handed out $65.60. Utah is also known for its large population of Mormons, whose church asks them to give at least 10 percent of their income to charity. New Hampshire residents were the least giving, with a rate of 1.7 percent. Maine and Vermont weren’t so charitable either, also ranking among the lowest.
Palmer suggested the meager handouts in northern New England are partly because of low rates of church attendance, but the low rankings also stem from residents’ “independent streak” and a tradition of self-reliance.
Related: Watch Ben Affleck and Bill Maher Argue About Islam (Time).