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Philanthropic relativity

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Influences on giving, volunteering vary by region.

[02.20.04] — Depending on where Americans live in the U.S., different factors influence the rate at which they give and volunteer, says a new study.

In the Northeast, households with a volunteer in the family give twice as much to nonprofits as do those with no volunteers, says a study by Independent Sector, a national membership and advocacy group for nonprofits.

Southern households that regularly attend religious services give 143 percent more to charity than do those who do not attend, and southerners who attended college and regularly attend religious services are more likely to volunteer.

In the Midwest, people who are married give 124 percent more than those who are single, and people who volunteered in their youth are more philanthropic as adults than those who did not volunteer.

People in the West who own homes give 174 percent more than those who are not homeowners, and westerners who are asked to volunteer or who have a college education are more likely to volunteer.

The study, based on a 2001 survey of over 4,000 people nationwide, looked at how 10 factors influenced philanthropy in each of the four regions of the U.S.

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