Georgia Voices: Georgians digging deep for charity
by The Savannah Morning News
April 28, 2014 11:42 PM | 1356 views | 0 0 comments | 35 35 recommendations | email to a friend | print
If it’s better to give than to receive — charity is, after all, one of the three theological virtues — then Georgians should pat themselves on the back.

Modestly, of course.

That’s because the Fraser Institute, a respected public policy research group in Canada, has ranked Georgia second only to Utah among the 50 states in the percentage of income given to charities.

But what’s eye-opening, and heartening, is that Georgians are digging deeper into their own wallets than residents in other states — even though people elsewhere have higher incomes.

To put it another way, it’s easy for a fat cat to write a check. It’s tough for an ordinary citizen on limited means to donate to charity, especially during difficult economic times.

The Georgia Public Policy Foundation, a think tank in Atlanta, highlighted the Fraser Institute’s report Friday. The Canadian organization annually produces a “Generosity Index” that examines charitable giving in Canada’s 10 provinces and three territories, as well as in America’s political subdivisions. Researchers used data from income tax filings (from 2011) and other sources to calculate which places are more generous or more miserly.

Here’s how Georgia stacked up.

Researchers found that nearly 28 percent of Georgia tax filers gave to charity. That’s a respectable 18th place nationwide (Maryland was No. 1, with an amazing 40 percent).

But when you look at the percentage of aggregate personal income donated to charity — a fancy way of saying how deep did givers dig — Georgians jumped all the way to No. 2, donating 1.84 percent of their incomes to worthy causes.

The researchers concluded that Canadian charities have a tough time helping those who need assistance. Fortunately, thanks to generous Georgians, that’s less of a problem here.

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