New Study: Kent County Donors More Generous

Nov 18, 2015

New Study: Johnson Center For Philanthropy

Kent County individual donors are more generous than those in the rest of the state.  That, from a new, estimated report from the Johnson Center for Philanthropy at Grand Valley State University.  While the report shows charitable giving dipped slightly in the county, it still beats out the other counties, statewide.

“If you look at the data, we are really fortunate, that while only six percent of Michigan residents live in Kent County, we make up 9 % of total giving for the state of Michigan, which I think says a lot for us.”

The new estimated report from the Johnson Center for Philanthropy at Grand Valley State University shows charitable giving in Kent County actually took a slight dip in 2013, compared to total giving in 2012. But even with that, Kyle Caldwell, the center’s executive director, says the numbers bode well for this side of the state.

“ I think that says a lot about not only the philanthropy in general, but really does speak well to individuals; we’re a county that’s blessed with great resources, but we don’t necessarily have the foundations in the state, and so for us to be almost one in ten of givers, that’s says a lot.”

The report shows that donors of all types in Kent County gave a total of more than 907-Million dollars in 2013… showing a moderate decrease of about 39-million or 4.1 percent. Individual giving dropped from 614 million to 605 million.  Caldwell says there are many factors that can cause giving to go up or down in any community in any given year but tracking the numbers remains important.

“So, if you look at the trend that tells us we are a very generous county in the state, we do need to do more to make sure that giving maintains a higher level and that we teach every generation how important it is to give back to their community.  This trend data allows us to kind of keep that in mind.”

Caldwell says while this is a great snapshot of philanthropy, their work is not done.  They will continue on digging into more data that deals with individuals, institutions, families and other forms of philanthropy.