D.C. Area Among Most Charitable, Survey Finds

Maryland residents know how to keep the spirit of giving alive all year long. And Virginia is good at opening their wallets for the less fortunate as well.

When it comes to the most charitable states in the country, Maryland ranked fourth while Virginia landed in the 18th spot, according to the D.C.-based personal finance website WalletHub.

The District itself did not rank as only states were considered.

The WalletHub survey reported that Maryland has the highest percentage of taxpayers who donated money to charity — 38.2 percent, or 3.1 times higher than in West Virginia, which has the lowest at 12.3 percent. And Maryland ranked No. 3 overall for volunteering and service done by residents.

Several factors were considered while creating the list, including volunteer rate, percentage to income donated and percentage of sheltered homeless.

Virginia came in 22nd in the volunteering and service rank and 9th in the charitable giving rank. To determine the most generous states, WalletHub compared them based on 13 key metrics including volunteer rates, the percentage of taxpayers who donated to charity, growth in charitable giving and the percentage of sheltered homeless.

WalletHub’s ranking of the Most & Least Charitable States named Utah as the most generous state for the second straight year, followed by Minnesota, North Dakota, Maryland, Oklahoma, Delaware, and New Hampshire. Rounding out the top 10 were Ohio, Wisconsin and Arkansas.

The 10 least charitable states are Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Louisiana, Florida, Montana, Hawaii, Nevada, Texas, California and Arizona, per the website.

“Because the election painted both the Clinton Foundation and the Trump Foundation in a negative light and because these negative stories were basically the only mentions of charity during the campaign, a lot of U.S.-based charities — and nonprofits more generally — are worried that we will see a decline in trust from the public for all kinds of charitable organizations,” said Joannie Tremblay-Boire, a WalletHub expert and assistant professor in the Department of Public Management and Policy at the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University.

“The fear is that we will see a contamination problem: these two very mediatized bad apples will lead people to stop trusting all charities,” Tremblay-Boire said.

Further, U.S.-based charities are concerned about what a Donald Trump presidency and a Republican-controlled Congress will mean, she said.

“Reduced government spending would mean fewer grants and contracts. President-elect Trump’s plan also caps the charitable deduction amount, which could possibly result in lower donations from high-income households,” Tremblay-Boire said.

“Finally, a lot of nonprofits serving vulnerable populations — women, immigrants, Muslims, people with disabilities — are worried that demand for their services will rise while they are under fire from the administration,” she said.

Still, donors should pursue charities that have a mission they feel is important, said fellow WalletHub expert Elizabeth T. Boris, an Institute Fellow at the Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy at Urban Institute in D.C.

“They should check out the charities on their websites, and look at reports available on GuideStar, Charity Navigator, and Global Giving websites to see what information the charities provide about who they serve, their finances, and their achievements,” Boris said.

For the complete report, go to

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Stacy M. Brown

I’ve worked for the Daily News of Los Angeles, the L.A. Times, Gannet and the Times-Tribune and have contributed to the Pocono Record, the New York Post and the New York Times. Television news opportunities have included: NBC, MSNBC, Scarborough Country, the Abrams Report, Today, Good Morning America, NBC Nightly News, Imus in the Morning and Anderson Cooper 360. Radio programs like the Wendy Williams Experience, Tom Joyner Morning Show and the Howard Stern Show have also provided me the chance to share my views.

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