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Allyson Kapin 6 min read

Which City is the Most Generous in the U.S.?

The Chronicle of Philanthropy just released a new web interactive data set that shows donation patterns across the United States. The interactive also drills down to the local level by zip code and provides a wealth of data (courtesy of the IRS) about how towns and counties rank nationally in terms of their generosity.

“Comparing levels of giving is always a challenge in part because the cost of living varies greatly across America. To provide a fair analysis, The Chronicle’s rankings show the percentage of their income that households donated from the money they had left after paying their taxes and covering housing, food, and other essential expenses,” said the Chronicle of Philanthropy.


Overall Donation Stats

  • Over $135.8B was donated to charity across the U.S.
  • The media discretionary income was about $54,000
  • Donors tend to give about 4.7% of their income to charity.


People Who Make the Least Amount of Money Donate the Most

I was not surprised to see the data show that people who make between $50,000 to $99,000 donate over 6% of their income to charity VS wealthier people who donate a smaller percentage. For example, people who earn over $200,000 only donate 4.2% of their income.  

Note, people who made below $50,000 were not included in this study “because of discrepancies in the data for people with those income levels,” said the Chronicle of Philanthropy.


Top Five Most Generous States

  1. California: $17.2B
  2. New York: $11.3B
  3. Texas: $10.7B
  4. Florida: $7.4B
  5. Illinois: $6B


Top 5 Most Generous Cities

  1. Provo, Utah: Median donation $7,059
  2. Logan, Utah: Median donation $6,354
  3. St. George, Utah: Median donation 5,568
  4. Ogden, Utah: Median donation $5,186
  5. Idaho Falls, Idaho: Median donation $4,886


Top 5 Most Populous Metropolitan Areas

  1. Salt Lake City: $834.5M: Median percent of income given 9%
  2. Memphis: $703.8M: Median percent of income given 7.2%
  3. Birmingham, Alabama: $771.8M: Median percent of income given 7.1%
  4. Nashville: $850.9M: Median percent of income given 6%
  5. Atlanta: $3.2B: Median percent of income given 5.9%

How did you your city rank?


Allyson Kapin

Allyson has been named one of "Top Tech Titans" by the Washingtonian, one of the Most Influential Women In Tech by Fast Company, and one of the top 30 women entrepreneurs to follow on Twitter by Forbes for her leadership role in technology and social media. As Founding Partner of Rad Campaign, she leads the firm's client and online strategic services. For over a decade Allyson has helped non-profit organizations and political campaigns create dynamic and award-winning websites and online marketing and recruitment campaigns. She works side-by-side with her clients to meet their web needs and maximize their online effectiveness to create real world impact.