The holiday season is here, and it’s no secret that people tend to get more generous around the holidays. It is the season of giving. But most individuals as well as corporations give away throughout the year. Here we take a look at the top 10 most charitable cities in the United States.
According to the National Philanthropic Trust, Americans donated an estimated $427 billion to charity last year. The figure doesn’t include the value of time contributed by generous volunteers. More than 60 million people volunteer every year, contributing a combined 7.9 billion hours. That’s equivalent to $184 billion.
Giving your time or money to charitable causes not only makes you feel good about your contribution but also gets you a tax deduction. Personal finance website SmartAsset analyzed the philanthropic contributions of more than 200 cities across the US to find out the most charitable cities in the country.
SmartAsset ranked cities based on five factors: percentage of tax returns with charitable contributions, average charitable contribution, charitable contributions as a percentage of income, volunteer rate, and hours spent volunteering. The study revealed that Utah is the most generous state in the US. It is home to the top 3 most charitable urban areas.
10- Tulsa, OK
On average, the residents of Tulsa contribute 3.19% of their income to charity. Upon analysis of the IRS records, SmartAsset found that 22.26% of all tax returns listed charitable contributions. The volunteer rate in Oklahoma is 32%, meaning an average of 98 hours were donated per volunteer per year.
9- Durham-Chapel Hill, NC
The Durham-Chapel Hill metropolitan area in North Carolina is part of the so-called Research Triangle because of the concentration of research universities and technology companies in the region. It is also one of the most charitable urban centers in the country. More than 30% of tax returns reported charitable contributions. North Carolina’s volunteer rate is 35.10%, with an average of 94 hours donated per volunteer.
8- Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
On average, the Charlotte metropolitan area contributes 2.58% of income to charity. Close to 30% of all tax returns in the metro area reported charitable contributions. According to SmartAsset, the average charity contribution in the metro area is $6,166. The state volunteer rate is 35.1%,
7- Boise, ID
The capital of Idaho is also the most populous city in the state. On average, people in the city donate 2.6% of their income to charity. Idaho’s state volunteer rate is also pretty impressive at 37.9%. Each volunteer donates 98.5 hours a year to charitable causes. According to SmartAsset, 26.75% of tax returns reported charitable contributions.
6- Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD
Maryland is one of the most innovative states in the country. It is also one of the most charitable. The state’s volunteer rate is 36.3%. Each volunteer donates more than 105 hours a year. The average charitable contribution in the Baltimore metro area is $4,963. More than 38% of tax returns in the metro area reported charitable contributions.
5- Raleigh, NC
North Carolina has three cities in the top 10, reflecting the overall generosity of people in the state. People in Raleigh give away 2.66% of their annual income to charity. The average contribution is $6,398, according to SmartAsset. A total of 32.73% of tax returns in Raleigh listed charitable contributions.
4- Charlottesville, VA
Charlottesville in Virginia has an estimated population of 48,000. Charitable contributions as a percentage of income stood at 3.05%, and about 29% of tax returns listed charity. The average contribution in Charlottesville is $9,037. On average, each volunteer in Virginia gives more than 103 hours of their time a year to charity.
3- Salt Lake City, UT
The rate of charitable contributions as a percentage of people’s income stands at 4.09%, one of the highest in the country. Salt Lake City also has one of the highest rates of average contributions at $9,274. Almost 30% of tax returns reported having done charity. The state of Utah has a volunteer rate of 51%, more than any other state. On average, each volunteer gives away 116 hours of their time to charity.
2- Ogden-Clearfield, UT
People in the Ogden-Clearfield metropolitan area on average donate 4.71% of their income to charity. A little over 33% of tax returns in the region listed charitable contributions. The average contribution in the Ogden-Clearfield metro area is also pretty high at $9,219. The volunteer rate is the same as the other cities in Utah.
1- Provo-Orem, UT
The Provo metro area has been named the most charitable city by SmartAssist. Provo residents donate 6.71% of their income to charity, more than any other city on the list. About 35% of tax returns listed charitable contributions. According to the World Giving Index, almost two-thirds of Provo residents volunteered their time during the past calendar year. Provo-based Brigham Young University actively encourages its students to volunteer and donate to charity.