The 15 Most Generous Cities in America

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Woman and charity /

Editor's Note: This story originally appeared on LawnStarter.

Even in the world’s richest economy, there are always people in need. But are there always people willing to give?

The short answer is yes. But some Americans are more inclined to reach into their hearts and pockets depending on where they live.

So, what are 2022’s most generous cities?

LawnStarter compared 130 of the biggest U.S. cities based on 13 key indicators of philanthropic behavior, from the share of donors to the number of homeless shelters — and even the number of locals who converted their Little Free Library into a food-sharing box for hungry neighbors.

Following are the most generous cities in the U.S.

1. Minneapolis, MN

Lake Calhoun, Minneapolis
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Overall Score: 52.65

Individual Generosity Rank: 1

Community Generosity Rank: 22

2. Seattle, WA

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Overall Score: 50.47

Individual Generosity Rank: 6

Community Generosity Rank: 11

3. Portland, OR

Hiking in Portland, Oregon
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Overall Score: 50.15

Individual Generosity Rank: 2

Community Generosity Rank: 32

4. New York, NY

New York City
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Overall Score: 49.61

Individual Generosity Rank: 79

Community Generosity Rank: 1

5. Baltimore, MD

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Overall Score: 49.05

Individual Generosity Rank: 7

Community Generosity Rank: 16

6. Washington, D.C.

Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall
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Overall Score: 43.59

Individual Generosity Rank: 18

Community Generosity Rank: 9

7. St. Paul, MN

St Paul Minnesota
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Overall Score: 43.02

Individual Generosity Rank: 5

Community Generosity Rank: 76

8. Indianapolis, IN

Indianapolis, Indiana
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Overall Score: 43.01

Individual Generosity Rank: 10

Community Generosity Rank: 26

9. Vancouver, WA

Mount Hood in Vancouver, Washington
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Overall Score: 42.65

Individual Generosity Rank: 2

Community Generosity Rank: 107

10. Chicago, IL

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Overall Score: 42.48

Individual Generosity Rank: 39

Community Generosity Rank: 2

11. Boston, MA

Boston skyline summer day.
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Overall Score: 42.43

Individual Generosity Rank: 19

Community Generosity Rank: 13

12. St. Louis, MO

St. Louis, Missouri

Overall Score: 41.84

Individual Generosity Rank: 25

Community Generosity Rank: 7

13. Denver, CO

Denver, Colorado
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Overall Score: 40.99

Individual Generosity Rank: 23

Community Generosity Rank: 17

14. Milwaukee, WI

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Overall Score: 40.79

Individual Generosity Rank: 8

Community Generosity Rank: 62

15. Cincinnati, OH

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Overall Score: 40.25

Individual Generosity Rank: 21

Community Generosity Rank: 21


Man analyzing data on a laptop
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We ranked 130 of the biggest U.S. cities from most generous (No. 1) to least generous (No. 130) based on their overall scores (out of 100 possible points), averaged across all the weighted metrics listed below.

  • Share of Residents Who Volunteer
  • Share of Residents Who Do Favors for Neighbors
  • Share of Residents Who Do Something Positive for the Neighborhood
  • Share of Residents Who Participate in Local Groups or Organizations
  • Number of Little Free Library “Sharing Boxes”
  • Share of Residents Who Donate $25 or More to Charity
  • Nonprofit Organizations per 100,000 Residents
  • Number of Food Banks
  • Number of Food Pantries
  • Number of Soup Kitchens
  • Number of Homeless Shelters
  • Number of Donation Centers
  • Number of Animal Shelters

Sources: AmeriCorps, Food Pantries, Homeless Shelter Directory, Internal Revenue Service, Little Free Library, Soup Kitchen 411 Inc., and Yelp