While some cynics believe that charity is dead in the United States, recent studies prove that this is certainly not the case. It seems that generosity is alive and kicking throughout the nation, based on a recent report from Convio Inc., the leading provider of software and services to nonprofit organizations.
In this enlightening report, Convio ranks "large" cities (those with a total population of more than 100,000) and "small" cities (less than 100,000) based on actual per capita online giving between January 1 and August 31, 2009. During this time period, nonprofit organizations using Convio online fundraising software processed more than $422 million in online donations - a double digit increase over the same time period in 2008. (The charity isn't the only things that benefits from your donations. Find out more in It Is Better To Give AND Receive.)

While some towns seem to be somewhat charity-challenged, others are leading the way when it comes to giving. Based on per capita giving, these five cities win the prize for being the most generous so far this year:

  1. Alexandria, VA
    Based on the Convio Inc.'s 2009 rankings, Alexandria is the number one most generous large city. This giving Virginia town also won the title as the most generous city in 2008. Alexandria citizens made 25,143 donations, adding up to a whopping $1.8 million. The average donation was $74.36, and the donation amount per 1000 people in the town comes out to a remarkable $12,993. Talk about a town that understands the gift of giving!
  2. Cambridge, MA
    When it comes to generosity, Cambridge, Massachusetts grabs the silver. From January 1 through August 31, 2009, Cambridge dwellers made 10,282 donations worth a total of $963,253. This comes out to an impressive $9,122 per 1000 people.
  3. Minneapolis, MN
    Folks in Minneapolis may be cold, but they're certainly not cold-hearted. This giving town donated more than $2.8 million in the first part of 2009. Although that grand total is actually more than the Cambridge donation sum, the city's higher population kept Minneapolis in third place. (Remember, these rankings are based on per capita giving). In Minneapolis, the donation amount per 1000 people was $7,549.
  4. Arlington, VA
    Arlington, Virginia residents are anything but stingy. As the second Virginia town to land in the top five most generous cities, Arlington folks have donated a massive $1,575,336 thus far this year. That's definitely nothing to sneeze at. That comes out to $7,502 per 1000 people.
  5. Seattle, WA
    Seattle lands in fifth place for its notable generosity. This rainy Northwest town has been flooding charities with donations since the beginning of 2009. Seattle citizens have already donated $4 million this year - the highest amount out of all the top five cities. However, the donation amount per 1000 people in the heavily populated town was $6,754.

Based on the Convio data, the top ten most generous large and small cities are as follows:

Most generous large cities:

  1. Alexandria, VA
  2. Cambridge, MA
  3. Minneapolis, MN
  4. Arlington, VA
  5. Seattle, WA
  6. St. Louis, MO
  7. Austin, TX
  8. Bellevue, WA
  9. Washington, DC
  10. Pittsburgh, PA

Most generous small cities:

  1. Paramus, NJ
  2. Princeton, NJ
  3. Georgetown, TX
  4. Katy, TX
  5. Bethesda, MD
  6. Silver Spring, MD
  7. Spring, TX
  8. Marietta, GA
  9. The Woodlands, TX
  10. Fairfax, VA

Although it may seem that our nation is filled with tight-fisted scrooges, there are countless citizens who donate both their time and money to charity - even in these tough economic conditions. This recent data on the nation's most charitable cities proves that generosity is still alive and well in the United States. (Learn more in Gifting Your Retirement Assets To Charity and Deducting Your Donations.)

Related Articles
  1. Investing News

    Is the White House too Optimistic on the Economy?

    Are the White House's economic growth projections for 2016 and 2017 realistic or too optimistic?
  2. Economics

    Can the Market Predict a Recession?

    Is a bear market an indication that a recession is on the horizon?
  3. Tax Strategy

    Profit from Art with a Charitable Remainder Trust

    With a CRUT, art collectors can avoid capital gains taxes on the sale of art– while also leaving their favorite charity a legacy.
  4. Investing News

    Today's Sell-off: Are We in a Margin Liquidation?

    If we're in market liquidation, is it good news or bad news? That party depends on your timeframe.
  5. Stock Analysis

    Are U.S. Stocks Still the Place To Be in 2016?

    Understand why U.S. stocks are absolutely the place to be in 2016, even though the year has gotten off to an awful start for the market.
  6. Investing News

    U.S. Recession Without a Yield Curve Warning?

    The inverted yield curve has correctly predicted past recessions in the U.S. economy. However, that prediction model may fail in the current scenario.
  7. Investing

    Retirees: 7 Lessons from 2008 for the Next Crisis

    When the last big market crisis hit, many retirees ran to the sidelines. Next time, there are better ways to manage your portfolio.
  8. Economics

    Industries That Thrive On Recession

    Recessions are not equally hard on everyone. In fact, there are some industries that even flourish amid the adversity.
  9. Fundamental Analysis

    Is a U.S. Industrial Recession on the Horizon in 2016?

    Find out why the industrial economy may be teetering on an industrial recession and what could prevent it from going over the cliff.
  10. Fundamental Analysis

    Gloom and Doom for Global Markets in 2016?

    Learn about the volatility in global markets during the beginning of 2016. See why famous investors are saying some economies could see recessions.
RELATED FAQS
  1. Which mutual funds made money in 2008?

    Out of the 2,800 mutual funds that Morningstar, Inc., the leading provider of independent investment research in North America, ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Do interest rates increase during a recession?

    Interest rates rarely increase during a recession. Actually, the opposite tends to happen; as the economy contracts, interest ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What are the risks of annuities in a recession?

    Annuities come in several forms, the two most common being fixed annuities and variable annuities. During a recession, variable ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How does the risk of investing in the industrial sector compare to the broader market?

    There is increased risk when investing in the industrial sector compared to the broader market due to high debt loads and ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. How can I hedge my portfolio to protect from a decline in the retail sector?

    The retail sector provides growth investors with a great opportunity for better-than-average gains during periods of market ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What is the correlation between term structure of interest rates and recessions?

    There is no question that interest rates have enormous macroeconomic importance. Many economists and analysts believe the ... Read Full Answer >>
Trading Center