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Who’s the Most Generous When it Comes to Giving? – The Answers


I am super tired tonight, so this is just a quick post to give everyone the results of questions that I posted earlier. They were questions covered on tonight’s 20/20 special and the results are taken from the program (not quite sure how to cite it…).

What group gives the largest percentage of its income to charity…upper, middle or lower class?

Lower class. More specifically, the working poor.

What group gives more to charity…liberals or conservatives?


Which city is stingier…San Franciso, California or Sioux Falls, South Dakota?

San Francisco, California

I’m hoping to wake up a little early in the morning, so I can type up a few more things mentioned during the program as well as my thoughts. I found the show to be quite interesting.


  • Reply MOMM |

    You know, it makes sense that the working poor donate more. I can’t throw out statistics but I think about the people that I know (and including my family), and I agree.

    SF is stingier! Is it because of the difference in population? LOL

  • Reply S/100/30 |

    The methodology of this study was highly flawed. More bad statistics passing as TV news.

  • Reply Dignan |

    I agree with S/100/30. The SF/Sioux Falls ring-off was ridiculous. A wide variety of factors could have caused the results that were observed, including:

    1. There might be just a few more Salvation Army bell-ringers in San Francisco than there are in Sioux Falls, and there might be a few other opportunities to give a couple of bucks to either organized charities or even directly to people in SF.

    2. Maybe San Franciscans objected to the religious discrimination the Salvation Army practices against its employees, and so chose to give their charitable contributions to other groups.

    3. Maybe the San Franciscans give their contributions to the SA via payroll deduction (as I do to the United Way) or generous checks mailed to the regional office, and didn’t give anything more to the bell-ringer because they don’t carry around cash (I use a debit card and rarely carry cash).

    The National Center for Charitable Statistics details charitable giving as percentage of income, based on actual tax return data, and their results contradict Stossel’s assertions. Based on their data, the average percent of income for charitable contributions for the U.S. is 2.4%. There were only 15 states with a higher than average percent (16 if you count D.C. at #2) and at least a third of these are certifiably Blue. (Note, this data eliminates non-itemized returns altogether.)

    Moreover, as reflected in the #1 state, Utah, charitable giving includes church contributions, and this will skew any percentage, especially in areas where people tithe upwards of 15% or more of their annual income. Plus, in actual total dollar amounts of giving, the Blue states, and urban areas in particular, have it all over the Red.

    I also don’t consider money “tithed” to churches as “charity” unless the money actually goes to soup kitchens and the like. Tithe money that goes to building and grounds upkeep and living expenses for religious staffing is not charity any more than homeowner association fees or greens fees or private school fees.

So, what do you think ?