Penn­syl­va­nia res­i­dents rank among the most gen­er­ous

The Phoenix - - NEWS - By Dave Le­mery Watch­dog.org

When it comes to the two main ways to sup­port char­ity — ei­ther giv­ing money or do­nat­ing one’s time — Penn­syl­va­nia res­i­dents have largely gone the route of vol­un­teer­ing di­rectly, ac­cord­ing to a new re­port.

In fact, the trend of vol­un­teerism is so strong in Penn­syl­va­nia, ac­cord­ing to fi­nan­cial anal­y­sis firm Wal­letHub, that the state is the 11th most-char­i­ta­ble of all U.S. states de­spite be­ing only 41st in share of in­come do­nated.

Wal­letHub col­lected data from many dif­fer­ent cat­e­gories from sources such as the U.S. Cen­sus Bureau and Gallup to com­pile its re­port, 2018’s Most Char­i­ta­ble States.

“Not ev­ery­one is equally self­less,” Wal­letHub’s Adam McCann wrote. “In the spirit of in­spir­ing al­tru­ism, Wal­letHub de­ter­mined the most char­i­ta­ble of the 50 states by com­par­ing them across 18 key in­di­ca­tors of char­i­ta­ble be­hav­ior. Our data set ranges from vol­un­teer rate to share of in­come do­nated to share of shel­tered home­less.”

The top state in Wal­letHub’s rank­ings was Min­nesota, while com­ing in 50th was Ne­vada. Penn­syl­va­nia was part of a pat­tern of North­east states gen­er­ally do­ing well, as neigh­bors New York (third over­all), Mary­land (fourth) and Ohio (13th) were in the same gen­eral vicin­ity. Fur­ther down were New Jer­sey (18th), Delaware (24th) and West Vir­ginia (35th).

There were a num­ber of sub­cat­e­gories where Penn­syl­va­nia scored highly, in­clud­ing:

• 10th in vol­un­teer re­ten­tion rate.

• 11th in “share of res­i­dents who do fa­vors for their neigh­bors.”

• 11th in “amount of money that peo­ple would lend their neigh­bors in need.”

• 10th in “share of pop­u­la­tion fundrais­ing or sell­ing items to raise money.”

• 12th in “share of pop­u­la­tion do­nat­ing time,” at 44 per­cent.

• 15th in “share of shel­tered home­less,” at 87.3 per­cent.

While the “share of in­come do­nated” mea­sure was in the bot­tom 10 in the na­tion at 1.08 per­cent, that was some­what off­set by Penn­syl­va­nia’s 16th place rank­ing in vol­un­teer rate, at 29.7 per­cent.

Wal­letHub reached out to Jen­nifer Sieben­thaler, as­so­ciate dean for un­der­grad­u­ate af­fairs at the Univer­sity of Ken­tucky’s Gat­ton Col­lege of Busi­ness and Eco­nomics, to talk about the chang­ing trends in char­i­ta­ble giv­ing. Ac­cord­ing to Sieben­thaler, tra­di­tion­ally ef­fec­tive fundrais­ing tac­tics might not be work­ing as well as they used to.

“Younger donors give in dif­fer­ent ways, in re­sponse to dif­fer­ent calls to ac­tion, and with dif­fer­ent ex­pec­ta­tions than gen­er­a­tions of the past,” she said. “Char­i­ties are cog­nizant of the changes in the newer gen­er­a­tions of donors, but many are cur­rently re­liant on gen­er­a­tions that re­spond to the tra­di­tional sup­port let­ter and calls for monthly giv­ing.”

Sieben­thaler warned, though, that as char­i­ties try out new tac­tics to try to at­tract a new gen­er­a­tion of donors, it’s im­por­tant not to alien­ate the baby boomers who still pro­vide the ma­jor­ity of char­i­ta­ble giv­ing.

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