Sunday, December 11, 2005

Annual Index Shows Who Gives

(HT: FOTF Pastor's Weekly Briefing email)

Bible Belt

According to the Catalogue of Philanthropy's Generosity Index, New Englanders remain among the most tightfisted in the country when it comes to charitable giving while Bible Belt residents are among the most generous. The index, which takes into account both "having" and "giving," is based on average adjusted gross incomes and the value of itemized charitable donations reported to the Internal Revenue Service on 2003 tax returns, the latest available.

Using the above standard, the 10 most generous states were, in descending order: Mississippi, Arkansas, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana, Utah, South Carolina and West Virginia.

The 10 stingiest, starting from the bottom, were: New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, Connecticut, Minnesota, Colorado, Hawaii and Michigan.


Ron said...

I used to pastor a small Southern Baptist church in the Mississippi delta. We were in the poorest area of the poorest state in the nation. And it never ceased to amaze my how generous those people could be in their giving. Every Christmas when we were focused on giving for missions, it never failed that those people would dig deep and really give.

And to top it off, they never stopped to pat themselves on the back. After we collected a record offering one year, members kept commenting to me how they should have given more.

None of this had anything to do with me. That's not why I mention it. But I'll never forget the generosity of those faithful Mississippi believers. The media may laugh at them, the world may overlook them, but I know God is well-pleased with their faithfulness in giving. :)

Chris Meirose said...

Thanks for stopping by Ron. I have spent my whole life prior to Seminary in South Dakota, one of the other big giving states, where they too have a very low average income. Not the same over all depth of poverty I would guess state wide as Mississippi, but certainly with some of the poorest counties in the USA on the Indian Reservations. Now I live in one of the poorest giving states, Minnesota. Interesting how they are next door to each other, but worlds apart in their giving and in their politics.

Big Chris