NJ Not So Kind to Those in Need [AUDIO]
Perhaps the devastation caused by Superstorm Sandy can trigger some permanent goodness in New Jerseyans, but for now, the Garden State sits near the bottom of the list in terms of charitable giving.
New Jersey residents allocated less than 4 percent of their discretionary income to donations, according to a report from The Chronicle of Philanthropy. The report analyzed IRS tax data from 2008, the most recent year for which statistics were made available.
New Jersey ranked 43rd among the 50 states and Washington D.C. The Garden State's "lack of kindness" was topped by only North Dakota, Wisconsin, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine and New Hampshire.
At 10.6 percent of their discretionary income, Utah residents easily outpaced the rest of the nation in charitable giving. The report cited a solid link between giving and religion; Utah is heavily populated by Mormons, who are supposed to give 10 percent of their income to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Despite the weak 2008 ranking, New Jersey still managed to contribute $4.5 billion in donations. It ranked eighth in total giving, but it essentially means more people are giving less money.
According to The Chronicle's Peter Panepento, October's storm may end up presenting wildly different numbers for New Jersey. After coming face-to-face with disaster and folks desperately in need of help, more New Jerseyans may have developed a permanent, giving habit.