The annual index of giving is out, and--surprise!--it's the Bible Belt that gives:
New Englanders remain among the most tightfisted in the country when it comes to charitable giving while Bible Belt residents are among the most generous, according to an annual index.
For the fourth year running, New Hampshire was the most miserly state, according to the Catalogue of Philanthropy's Generosity Index. Mississippi remained at the top for generosity.
The index, which takes into account both "having" and "giving," is based on average adjusted gross incomes and the value of itemized charitable donations reported to the Internal Revenue Service on 2003 tax returns, the latest available.
However, its methodology has been criticized and has helped give rise to new studies of charitable giving.
"We believe that generosity is a function of how much one gives to the ability one has to give," said Martin Cohn, a spokesman for the Catalogue for Philanthropy, a Boston-based nonprofit that publishes a directory of nonprofit organizations.
Using that standard, the 10 most generous states were, in descending order, Mississippi, Arkansas, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana, Utah, South Carolina and West Virginia.
The 10 stingiest, starting from the bottom, were New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, Connecticut, Minnesota, Colorado, Hawaii and Michigan.
Hmmm. Religious people giving...