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Geography and Generosity

center on wealth and philanthropy

Over the past decade, increasing attention has been focused on the relative generosity - or lack thereof - of the residents of different states or regions in this country. In particular, various reports published locally and nationally have drawn sharply different conclusions regarding the generosity of Massachusetts residents. The resolution of this issue holds profound significance for the overall economy of the Commonwealth, and especially for the state's vital nonprofit sector.

In September 2004, with funding from the Boston Foundation, the Center on Wealth and Philanthropy at Boston College began a two-year study, Geography and Generosity: Boston and Beyond, focusing on individual generosity for regions, states, and metropolitan areas across the United States. This publication reports on the first year of research. Follow the link below to access a PDF of the full report.

Geography and Generosity: Boston and Beyond (PDF)

This report has received a significant amount of media coverage. Please follow these links to see different news reports regarding the Geography and Generosity report.


“'Charity Cheapskate' reputation of Bay State unmerited, study shows.” Boston Business Journal. 8 November 2005.

Trueblood, David. “New Boston Foundation study debunks the ‘myth’ of Massachusetts’ stinginess”. The Boston Foundation. 8 November 2005.

“Study: Bay State generous after all”. Channel Seven News Boston. 8 November 2005.

Talcott, Sasha. “Mass. generous after all, study finds”.The Boston Globe. 8 November 2005.

“Geography and Generosity”.Boston College – College of Arts and Sciences. 8 November 2005.

“Geography and Generosity”. Boston College – Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. 8 November 2005.

“Geography and Generosity”. Boston College – BC Info. 8 November 2005.

Fitzgerald, Jay. “Nonprofit has uncharitable view of new study.” Boston Herald. 8 November 2005.

WBZ Radio. 5 Minute Interview. 8 November 2005.

“N.E. donations to secular charities outplace U.S. rate”. Boston Business Journal. 9 November 2005.

Boston Globe Editorial. “Mass magnanimity”. The Boston Globe. 13 November 2005.

Lipman, Harvy. “Study Seeks to Dispel Image of Massachusetts as Stingy”. The Chronicle of Philanthropy. 21 November 2005.

Lipman, Harvy. “Ranking Generosity in the States”. The Chronicle of Philanthropy. 21 November 2005.

Kujawski, Laura. "New Boston Foundation Study Debunks 'Myth' of Massachusetts' Stinginess." 22 November 2005.

Star Bulletin Editorial. "Study Unfairly Gives Hawaii a Low Generosity Rating." Honolulu Star Bulletin 22 November 2005.

Hoffman, Leah. "Most Charitable States." Forbes Magazine. 23 November 2005.

"Editorial: The Giving List" The Bergen Record, New Jersey. 24 November 2005.


WatertownTAB Editorial. "Show your generosity." WaterTown TAB. 2 December 2005. Editorial. "Uncharitable Ploy." New Hampshire 2 December 2005.