The 10 Most Charitable States in America

Every day is a day for giving. Kindness and compassion make us human and give our race hope for a better tomorrow. More and more people are embracing charity and treating it as part of their lives. Whether through volunteering, monetary donations, or simply lending a helping hand to a stranger, every person can do charity, and every act of kindness counts.

According to the World Giving Index, the United States has ranked among the world’s ten most generous countries for many years in a row. Some 61 million Americans dedicate more than 4 billion hours to charitable causes annually. Now, it’s time to find out which states are most generous in terms of charitable giving, volunteering, and service.

Thanks to an in-depth analysis by WalletHub, the most giving states have been identified. In their research, WalletHub compared all of the states across key metrics, such as the rate of sheltered homeless people, the average share of income donated, and the volunteering rate. Here are America’s charity leaders arranged according to their ranks.


Welcome to Utah road sign
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Maria_Usp

Utah leads by example, ranking 4th in volunteering and service and 5th in charitable giving. This highly religious state has a heart for philanthropy, with the highest volunteering rate in the country at 40.7%. At 39.42%, Utah also has the highest number of volunteer hours per capita.

Out of all 50 states, Utah residents appear to be most generous when it comes to monetary donations, with people, on average, giving away 3.89% of their income toward charitable causes. Much of this is possible thanks to the great work of the Utah Nonprofits Association, which links nonprofit organizations and partners with communities in need.

Total score: 69.65


Wyoming welcome sign
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Ingo70

Wyoming is running a close second when it comes to volunteering and service. The Equality State boasts a remarkable 39.2% volunteer rate and the highest number of charities per capita. In addition, the state provides the most giving options per capita and comes in third in the number of Feeding America food banks per one million residents. In charitable giving, Wyoming came in tenth, outperforming 80% of the states in the process.

Charitable giving options range from foreign to domestic causes, and one special day—WyoGives Day—is dedicated to bringing the community together and supporting those in need. The Wyoming Nonprofit Network initiative takes place each year, and millions are raised in a matter of hours.

Total score: 69.21


Minnesota welcomes you sign at the state border
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The North Star State ranked third in the volunteering & service category and 11th in charitable giving. Proving that the ‘Minnesota nice’ saying is more than just a stereotype, 35.5% of Minnesotans engage in volunteer work. Volunteering is encouraged in this state from a young age, and students are given graduation credits for the hours they spend serving their communities.

Another remarkable statistic is that 53% of residents spend some time volunteering. This count includes credit union employees who spend one entire day each year volunteering at charities around the state as part of Minnesota Credit Union Network’s CU Forward Day. There are over 39,000 nonprofits in the state, with a median charitable contribution of around $2,700.

Total score: 67.66


Welcome to Maryland sign with yellow trees
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Janece Flippo

No state, except for Virginia, does better in charitable giving than Maryland, which ranks tenth in volunteering & service. There are around 51 nonprofit organizations per 10,000 residents, with a median charitable contribution of around $3,500.

In Maryland, around 1.7 million people volunteer annually to provide a total of over 182 million hours of service. With second place in charitable giving, it’s no surprise that Maryland ranks the highest in the percentage of the population who donated their money. It is also one of the top states for donating income.

Total score: 66.05


Welcome to Maine Sign
Image Credit: Shutterstock / mRGB

Maine is the second-best performing state in volunteering and service, even though it only tanked 32nd in charitable giving. The Pine Tree State is known for a high percentage of people involved in informal helping and a respectable rate of 35% for formal volunteering. The state also has a large network of small-scale nonprofits that can only operate thanks to the generous involvement of the business sector.

On the downside, Maine residents don’t excel in charitable donations, and areas such as share of income, percentage of the population involved in donating money, and share of sheltered homeless people have room for improvement.

Total score: 65.12


Welcome to Delaware Sign
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Joseph Sohm

Delaware placed seventh in volunteering & service and twentieth in charitable giving. It is one of the top states for charities per capita. It outperforms the majority of states in terms of in volunteer rate, volunteer retention rate, volunteering hours per capita, and share of the population distributing food and clothes.

The First State is also home to one of the country’s top fundraising events—Do More 24. Philanthropy Day is a 24-hour event annually to support nonprofits from different communities. Thanks to the collaboration of nonprofit, for-profit, and governmental organizations, millions are raised this way each year. With an increase in younger donors in recent years, the future of this state’s charitable efforts is in good hands.

Total score: 63.86


Welcome to Pennsylvania road sign
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Henryk Sadura

Pennsylvania is known as the cradle of our nation and home to many firsts, including the first hospital and the first university in the country. At the same time, it was also named among some of the most charitable states in the U.S., placing 14th in the volunteering and service department and 8th in charitable giving.

While Pennsylvania performed below average in the percentage of donated income, it ranked 12th in the percentage of people engaged in the distribution of goods and 12th in the percentage of population donating time. At the same time, the state was ranked 20th for volunteer hours and 23rd in volunteer rate.

Total score: 62.46


Welcome to Oregon State Sign on US-199 also called the Redwood Highway
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Nick Fox

Like Maine, Oregon is another excellent example of a great divide between the two main groups of metrics analyzed by WalletHub. On one side, Oregon performed better than 45 states by ranking fifth in volunteering and service, meaning people don’t shy away from volunteer work and extended service hours. Oregonians, on average, do 35% more hours of volunteer work annually than the national average.

Conversely, Oregon placed 34th in charitable giving, the lowest score among the top 15 most charitable states in the U.S. The state could perform much better regarding the share of income donated and the share of the population donating time and money.

Total score: 62.19

South Dakota

South Dakota Welcome sign
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Ingo70

By ranking ninth in volunteering and service, South Dakotans have made their ancestors immortalized at the Mount Rushmore National Memorial proud. The state boasts an extraordinary volunteer rate—the fifth highest in the nation. South Dakota also ranked fourth in the share of the population engaged in the distribution of goods, fifth in the percentage of people donating time, and eighth in charities per capita.

Nearly 7,500 nonprofit organizations throughout Mount Rushmore State employ over 121,000 people, helping the state secure 11th place in volunteered hours per capita. Last but not least, South Dakota was third in percentage of donated income.

Total score: 61.58


Welcome to Ohio Sign
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Joseph Sohm

Ohio is a state of giving, and it proved that by placing 13th in volunteering and service and 17th in charitable giving, well above the national average in both areas. In the last year alone, more than 2.2 million volunteers from the state spent over 165 million hours doing good work. While over 24% of the population engaged in formal volunteering through nonprofit organizations, many more chose to help informally.

Ohio’s annual volunteer service is worth around $4.5 billion, and volunteers come from all sectors despite the state being among the top twenty poorest in the country. Ohioans do their best to help others by volunteering and giving.

Total score: 60.76

Author: Zan Kokalj


Zan Kokalj is a veteran content writer, copywriter, and author inspired by the impact of ink on paper.

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