America may seem divided — rich versus poor, left versus right, rural versus urban — but one theme is consistent across the nation: We are a charitable population.
The Barna Group, a Ventura, California-based organization that conducts research on faith, culture and leadership, has looked into donations to charities and nonprofits (including churches) by percentage of population. The group analyzed data from telephone and online interviews, with more than 76,000 adults in Nielsen-designated market areas who were interviewed over a decade.
The research shows that while many communities across the U.S. vary in geography, beliefs and socioeconomic conditions, they share a desire to give. The following is not a ranking of the cities that give the most in absolute dollar terms, but the Barna Group research does give a good sense of which local populations stand out as being among America's most generous.