Iowa ranks a bit below the median in a new study of generosity. It’s a rare thing to find quantified, like snowfall totals or egg productions, but George George McCully ranks the residents of all fifty states by how much they have, and how much they give. He runs “The Catalogue for Philanthropy,” which he describes as a tool for donor education, with the purpose of improving charitable giving, in his native New England region and nationwide. McCully says he got interested in charitable donations and what people have, compared with what they give. He took IRS figures on how much money Americans have, state-by-state, and how much they give away… at least, the charitable donations people deduct from their taxes. Applying “all the mathematical skills I’d learned in third grade,” he ranked the adjusted gross income of people in each state, then the average charitable giving deducted by the taxpayers in each state, and divided one by the other. That gave him a single number every state. McCully calls that number their “generosity index.” He says the first report came out in 1997 and instantly was the number-one topic for commentators, and this year is the biggest story for internet “bloggers.” All he does is print the I-R-S numbers — no data, no analysis, no interpretation. Then everyone starts talking about them, and the purpose of doing it is just that — to stimulate discussions. McCully says when people talk about philanthropy, they start giving more — so he releases a new “Generosity Index” each year to get people talking about charitable giving…and doing it. His website carries a chart with three columns, listing every state. The first number is the state’s rank in adjusted gross income — the second is its ranking for charitable deductions. The third column is the simple arithmetical difference between them. He subtracts to get that difference, a number McCully calls the “Generosity Index. That chart shows the state where residents are lowest in income AND the highest in giving, is Mississippi…the least generous is New Hampshire, whichis high in income but low in giving. Iowa ranks below-average with the nation’s 36th-highest income, 44th-highest charitable giving…and a generosity index of minus 8. See the index and all the state rankings at www.catalogueforgiving-dot-org.
You are here: / / Iowa ranks below average in study of generosity