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Survey: Texas Ranks Near Bottom for Charitable Giving

Charities and nonprofit groups across the country raised more than $116 million last year through donations made on Giving Tuesday. (LaMoyne/iStockphoto)
Charities and nonprofit groups across the country raised more than $116 million last year through donations made on Giving Tuesday. (LaMoyne/iStockphoto)
November 29, 2016

AUSTIN, Texas – Today is Giving Tuesday, when people are encouraged to donate to their favorite charity. And while Texas is one of the largest and wealthiest states in the country, when it comes to charity, it ranks near the bottom of the list.

A new survey from marketing firm WalletHub ranks Texas 48th on a list of the most charitable states, above only California and Arizona. However, many nonprofit groups are optimistic that Texans will begin loosening up their wallets this year to help those in need.

Jamie McDonald, lead for civic and higher-education campaigns with the umbrella group Giving Tuesday said, going into its fifth year, the program is seeing more and more people be generous.

"It was an idea that, on the heels of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, we wanted to kind of put the 'give' back in the giving season, and realign folks' perspective on what the December period of time means for most people," she explained.

In the WalletHub survey, Texas ranks a poor 49th in charitable giving but a more respectable 28th in volunteering and service. Nationwide, Utah ranked as the most charitable state, followed by Minnesota, North Dakota, Maryland and Oklahoma.

WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzales said Texans may not be as generous because they have fewer opportunities to give.

"When we're also looking at the number of public charities per capita, Texas is few and far between," she said. "So a lot of residents there might not be as motivated because there are not these local charities in their back yard that that they feel some type of connection to."

Lindsey Wall, a development officer with the group Humanities Texas, a statewide nonprofit that provides materials for teachers and libraries, said her group is becoming more dependent on private donations.

"It has been a long-term goal of ours to develop this endowment campaign because we are looking to grow that individual contribution and provide an endowment that can support us when state and federal funding don't come in," Wall said.

Officials say more than $116 million was raised on Giving Tuesday last year. To find a participating charity in your city or state, go to GivingTuesday.org or #GivingTuesday.

Mark Richardson, Public News Service - TX