The average American gave $608 to charity last year. Generosity rose, particularly over the holiday season. Giving in December was up 25% over that in December 2019. A recent study of charitable giving marveled that people actually increased the sums they gave despite the gloom of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Charitable giving was, by no means, even from state to state. Marketing and social media firm TOP Data looked at consumer spending patterns and a survey of 1,000 Americans meant to determine their charitable contributions. This giving study was done on December 30. Spending data, alternatively, was taken from 900,000 Americans based on financial app numbers. The information included 150 charitable organizations TOP picked in advance of the study.
Older Americans were less likely to give to charity than younger ones. The research showed that: “Millennials (those aged 25–34) have been the most generous donor, with 74% of them choosing to give to a good cause. Boomers (those aged 55–72) made the least donations, with 54% of them digging into their pockets.”
Generosity skyrocketed in some states and dropped in others. The states where people’s charitable contributions rose the most were in what is often called the Mountain State region. Giving rose 153% in Idaho year over year. It was up 103% in Wyoming, rose 82% in Montana and 80% in Utah.
The states where charitable giving dropped the most were all in New England. It fell 17% in Massachusetts year over year, 20% in Vermont, 25% in Maine and 43% in Rhode Island.
The state where the average gifts to charity were the lowest was Rhode Island at $195. That was the lowest figure by far. No other state had a number below $300.
Also near the bottom, giving in Massachusetts was $309 for 2020. In every other state, giving was above $400.
The state where giving was the highest was Utah at $2,808, over four times the national average. A theory about why the number is so high is that about 2 million residents are Mormons. That compares to a total state population of 3.3 million. Mormons are asked to give 10% of their income to the church, although there are no definitive numbers about how many do.
The next highest state based on charitable giving was Colorado at $1,100. It is followed by Virginia at $1,094 and Idaho at $1,031. No other state has average charitable giving over $1,000.
Charitable giving is not necessarily tied to median household income. Rhode Island’s is the 18th highest among states at just below $65,000. Massachusetts ranks fifth at almost $80,000. Utah ranks 13th at over $71,000. Colorado ranks 12th at $72,000. Virginia ranks 11th at nearly $73,000. However, Idaho ranks 37th at just below $56,000.
This is the list of average charitable giving by state.