Patch's Poll: How Much Do You Give To Charity?

A new report shows that Connecticut residents residents rank 45th in the country in terms of how much of their income they donate.


Do you give a good amount of your money to charity? If you’re from Connecticut, then you’re in the minority.

New data released by The Chronicle of Philanthropy put Connecticut at 45th when calculating the percentage of one's discretionary income that went to a charitable cause. State residents here give just 3.3 percent of their income to charity, which is still higher than the rest of New England but much lower than other states like Alabama, Tennessee and Mississippi.

To see a breakdown by towns, click here.

The most charitable state was Utah, whose state residents gave over 10 percent of their discretionary income. Utah is a notably religious state, with the majority of its religious adhering to the Mormon faith. Much of the data showed that residents from the least religious states are also the most stingiest with giving, and the residents from the more religious states are likely to give to charity.

The Chronicle based its data on charitable deductions based on by the Internal Revenue Service tax returns from 2008.

But for this very reason, Angela Powers of the Community Foundation of Greater New Haven, said analyzing charitable deductions can be deceiving.

According to The Associated Press, Powers noted that about half of all money to her organization comes in the form of estate gifts, which wouldn’t be reported in individual tax returns.

And it should be noted that Connecticut, overall, ranked 22 in terms of total contribution to charity, having given $2.3 billion in 2008.

Now it’s time to put you on the spot. How much money did you give last year? Take our poll and share your thoughts in the comments.

Lisa Beth August 22, 2012 at 04:54 PM
By 'charity law firm' I mean a firm that was 1/2 step above Legal Aid, worked nearly solely with the poor and the insane, ie, people who couldn't pay a bill and, more often than not, didn't pay their bill. BTW, the Great State of Connecticut pays at the insanely generous rate of $50.00/hr for that work. Sounds like a lot but it wasn't AND the State cuts off the pay at a certain amount and expects the lawyer (and their staff) to either work for free or drop the client. Yeah...I did my bit for charity for a while to come.
John Martin August 22, 2012 at 06:03 PM
I can second that Kate. And you are right when you identify that money isn't the only problem. I find that the 'ten-percenter' philosophy holds for volunteers. Ten percent of your base will volunteer 100% of the time. The other 90%? They might show up for the event. I love it when they are members and act like they were key to the planning and success of the event when the only thing they did was buy a ticket...often after arguing that as a member, they shouldn't have to pay....
Jeff Brown August 22, 2012 at 08:38 PM
Honestly if i meet an individual who needs my help i will give them all that i can of my time or money, But most of the time i prefer to give my time and money to friends and family because it's hard to trust most charitable orginazations because I hear too many stories about fraud or only having a small percentage of my donation actually going to those in need. However i do try to make an exception for the Jimmy fund and Red cross and just hope that the money goes to where its needed.
Gloria August 23, 2012 at 03:05 AM
I'm curious... you didn't mention how you gave your "time" but not your money to charity. It would have been nice to hear, and get some ideas, of how one can give time to charity... although if one DOES have money, it would be nice to give time AND a little bit of money, no?
Gloria August 23, 2012 at 03:13 AM
I wish I could give more than I do, really. I was laid off, so it is hard in a situation being unemployed. I try to even give $5.00 to something like St. Jude's Research every once in a while. Why? Most would say, "Oh, big deal, that's nothing!" BUT, if every person in the town of Lyme and Old Lyme gave five bucks every once in a while (or even one time!) to St. Jude's, they be very appreciative and it WOULD help. Hell, even if every single person in the U.S. gave a dollar to some charity, the world would be a better place.


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