A national survey comparing figures on people’s incomes with their itemized charitable deductions ranks Iowa 27th among the 50 states. George McCully is president of the Catalogue for Philanthropy which compiles the so-called Generosity Index. McCully says the object of the index is “to get the people who have more to give, to give more.” He says nationwide, giving is not related to income but to cultures.
The rankings are not based on the total amount given to charity, but rather on tax return information, tallying how much is donated compared to the average income.
McCully says to improve charitable giving and our quality of life, then it’s the people who have the resources who are in the position to make the investment and the contribution. He urges everyone to take a look at their communities and use philanthropy to make changes.
McCully says the figures upon which the Generosity Index is based come from I-R-S figures. He says itemized charitable deductions capture about 80-percent of the private dollars in philanthropy as most of the dollars come from top income groups. McCully says much of the nation is divided into three sections, with Iowa right near the middle. He says the states at the top of the index are generally low-income, religious, Protestant states. Those in the Midwest, are fairly close together in their cultures of giving. At the bottom, there’s a group of New England states that are generally high-income, relatively secular, Catholic, “earning an awful lot of money and their giving is lower.”
Mississippi was first on the Generosity Index while New Hampshire was last. For more information, surf to: “www.catalogueforphilanthropy.org”. The non-profit group is based in Massachusetts, which ranked 49th — next to dead last.