Looking for volunteers for a good cause? You’re most likely to have success if you head to Utah.
That’s according to a new survey from Gallup, which breaks down by state where Americans donate the most time and money to charity.
Relatively low population states such as South Dakota, Vermont, Montana, and Idaho topped a list of survey respondents who reported giving a donation and volunteering their time to an organization within the last six months. At 48%, the state of Utah, where about two-thirds of the population is Mormon, contained the highest percentage of people who did both. Across the board, as has been found in past studies, people there were more likely to donate money than give their precious free time to a cause.
Coming in at the bottom of the list were many southern and southwestern states, joined by New York, where only 26% of people gave both time and money recently (with 65% giving a donation and 36% volunteering).
The polling organization also conducts surveys that gauge people’s self-reported well-being, and it has found that the states where people give the most are also the states where people feel most satisfied with their lives. This is an intriguing relationship, as it gives credence to the feel-good notion that we really do feel better when we help others. But as Gallup notes, it’s not easy to pull apart cause and effect. It could be that people who donate are happier, or it could be that people who are happy are willing to donate more.
New Yorkers, Arizonans, and residents of other less generous states shouldn’t feel too bad. Overall, according to Gallup, Americans "show impressive figures for their acts of kindness" when compared to citizens of other countries, especially in their willingness to donate time and to help a stranger.
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