As you hope for the best return on that holiday pitch you should have already prepared, and as you get set for those final big asks of the year, you might want to see where your state stands in the new state-by-state assessment of charitable giving.
Prepared by the Boston College Center on Wealth and Philanthropy, this second annual survey takes into consideration such factors as each state's religious and ethnic group mix, the existence of nonprofit organizations, and the local cost of living and tax burden, "including changes within states that are driven by levels of urbanization-which affects cost of living at the more local level," in order to more fairly index the comparisons.
Now, however you interpret the results, don't make the mistake of calling this a "generosity index." The authors caution:
"Generosity is a moral, spiritual or social psychological characteristic of individuals and perhaps families and households. We do not believe that the term generosity should be associated with our measures, nor any other measures that do not directly study the inner disposition ... of generosity. In truth, every purported generosity index that has ranked states is, in fact, a charitable giving index."And the top five states for charitable giving are... New York, the District of Columbia, Utah, California, and Connecticut. And, at the bottom, Iowa, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, and North Dakota.
You can download the full report from Boston College at www.bc.edu/research/swri.