Utah determined to be the most charitable state in the country

<p style=”margin-bottom: 0in;”>A compilation of numerous metrics determined that Utah was the most charitable state in the country. Utah ranked first in almost every category looking at volunteer rates, the percent of population that donated both money and time, and the median contribution to charity.

<p style=”margin-bottom: 0in;”>Data was examined from the Internal Revenue Service, Gallup Polls, Corporation for National and Community Service and the Chronicle for Philanthropy by WalletHub, a personal finance social network.

“Utah was the top spot in almost every category,” says spokeswoman Jill Gonzalez. “Utah has the highest volunteer rate in the country with over 43% of the population directly tied to a charity; the highest percentage of adjusted growth income donated directly to charity; the highest percent of population who claim to have donated time at over half the population, that’s a great statistic; and, for donating money, Utah again came in first at over 70% donating money to charity.”

In Utah, about 6.5% of income is donated to public charities. States in the Bible Belt were close behind, donating approximately 5% of income to charities. But when it comes to the number of charities per capita, Utah is actually 49th nationally. Does that mean most of the money and volunteerism is going to one source, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

<p style=”margin-bottom: 0in;”>”We didn’t take into consideration churches or anything like that, these are strictly charitable organizations,” says Gonzalez. “But I think that has a lot to say about Utah. Even though there aren’t a lot of public charities per capita it still really donates and gives to a number of causes.”

<p style=”margin-bottom: 0in;”>”The other states that also ranked highly were along the Bible Belt,” she adds. “So I think that religion can definitely be tied to this sense of giving and charity.”

<p style=”margin-bottom: 0in;”>Nationally, approximately 30 percent of annual giving takes place in December. Gonzalez says her organization conducted this research and issued their rankings to also coincide with Giving Tuesday.

<p style=”margin-bottom: 0in;”>”Organizationally we kind of tested that a lot of organizations give toward the end of the year. Their Q4 budgets are up, they may have a chunk of change at the bottom.

<p style=”margin-bottom: 0in;”>”Of course I think the holiday spirit brings the best out of people,” she says. “This was the third annual Giving Tuesday and I think that really helps people and reminds them to give, not just give gifts to family and friends but really giving to the people who need it the most.”

<p style=”margin-bottom: 0in;”>She also offers advice to people and organizations who may be considering giving to a charitable group or foundation.

<p style=”margin-bottom: 0in;”>”I would say choose a mission that resonates with you. Don’t either rule in or rule out charities based on some arbitrary financial measurement, like overhead ratios or something like that. Really pick something that speaks to you. Donating money is great, but don’t forget about donating time as well and affecting people you want to help.”

<p style=”margin-bottom: 0in;”>To see where other states rank in <a href=”http://wallethub.com/edu/most-and-least-charitable-states/8555/” target=”_blank”>2014’s Most &amp; Least Charitable States</a>, see the interactive map below.<a href=”http://wallethub.com/edu/most-and-least-charitable-states/8555/” target=”_blank”>

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<p style=”margin-bottom: 0in;”><iframe src=”https://d2e70e9yced57e.cloudfront.net/wallethub/embed/8811/charity-geochart.html” frameborder=”0″ scrolling=”no” width=”556″ height=”347″></iframe>

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