Wisconsin ranked 44th among the 50 states for charitable giving - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Wisconsin ranked 44th among the 50 states for charitable giving

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A new study shows the state of Wisconsin ranks near the bottom for charitable giving, leaving only six states to do worse. But there is a bright spot.

According to a study from the Chronicle of Philanthropy, Wisconsin ranks 44th among the 50 states in charitable giving, but non-profit charity leaders we spoke with say, the numbers came as a surprise.

The new study called "How America Gives" tells us how much the state of Wisconsin donates to charity. The data is based on 2008 tax deductions.

"I am surprised because what I see, what we see locally here is extreme generosity," said Community Foundation Executive Director, Jean Tehan.

According to the study, people in Wisconsin contributed 2 billion dollars in 2008. It shows they donated 3.4 percent of their income to charity, but the national average is 4.7 percent.

"It's considerably lower, the Chronicle of Philanthropy is a great source of information so I don't doubt their data, but we do see in Marathon County that people give back because they want to be part of the solution," said United Way of Marathon County Executive Director, Joanne Kelly.  

But despite its low rank for overall donations, Wisconsin does rank higher when it comes to the total number of people who donate.

"We do rank very high, 26th in the actual number of charitable gifts and we know that because people in Wisconsin are able to itemize their deductions," said Tehan.

So the questions is, why aren't donations higher? Well, charity leaders blame the economy.

"We have a decreased number of manufacturing jobs and that causes a result in a shift of the middle class becoming smaller," said Tehan.

Charity leaders say they appreciate any charitable gift, but they hope the economy improves so more people can help those who need it.

According to the study, the state of Utah ranks first on the list of charitable giving, and New Hampshire is last.

For more information on the study visit http://philanthropy.com/article/How-The-Chronicle-Compiled-Its/133667/.

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