Californians give more – Schools benefit most

Californians donate more money and volunteer more than twice as many hours as the national average, according to a new survey by the University of San Francisco, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Previous studies have placed Californians below average in giving and volunteering. According to the USF study released last week, however, state residents give about 3 percent of their household incomes to charity, as compared to the national average of 2 percent. California volunteers give about 8.5 hours a week, compared with just 4.2 hours nationally.

Schools get the most volunteer hours in California, in contrast to the rest of the country where churches and religious groups lead.

“Our public school system is under a lot of stress,” Eleanor Brown, a Pomona College economist, told the Times. Californians, she said, put a lot of time into schools because they feel they have to.

The new report also suggests that all races donate at similar levels, contradicting six national studies that show whites giving more time and money. The reason for the contradiction, said Michael O’Neill, is that the recent survey discounted the influence of income, education and immigration status. O’Neill is the director of the university’s Institute for Nonprofit Management, which conducted the survey.

Researchers found that recent immigrants are more likely to offer person-to-person donations than give to established charities. Previous studies have focused solely on conventional nonprofit donations.
For full text, go to the Los Angeles Times.

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