Results of a new study on charitable giving may not portray Wisconsin in the best light, but Door County's generosity shines brightly.
According to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, which recently published an extensive look at giving in America, Wisconsin residents allocated 3.4% of their income to charity, a figure that ranks the Badger State 45th among the 50 states and District of Columbia
But among Wisconsin's 72 counties, none ranks higher than Door County.
Bret Bicoy, executive director of the Door County Community Foundation, says Door County residents contribute 4.1% of their discretionary income to charity -- tops in the state and about 30% higher than surrounding counties like Brown, Kewaunee, Marinette, Outagamie and Manitowoc.
Bicoy says he thinks Door County ranks so highly because of the important role charity plays in providing quality of life...
Bicoy says the Chronicle of Philanthropy has one of the best mechanisms for measuring charitable giving. He says they collect aggregate information from the Internal Revenue Service -- in this case about 35 million tax returns -- and cross-reference it with the cost of living in various communities to come up with a discretionary income figure. They then look at the percentage of discretionary income that is given out to charity every year.
"It's the best apples to apples comparison you're going to find in terms of charitable giving in the country," says Bicoy.
Nationwide, Bicoy says the most generous Americans are those who earn between $50,000 and $100,000 per year.
"It's the average person who works, who's toiling every day, who's doing their best to make ends meet, (they) also happen to be the same people who are the most generous folks in the community and I think that says something wonderful about Americans," says Bicoy.