Florida is the ninth least charitable state, according to the personal finance site, WalletHub, which analyzed 2014's most and least charitable states.
WalletHub ranks the 10 most charitable states as Utah, South Dakota, Idaho, Kansas, Nebraska, Minnesota, Montana, Washington, Oregon and Maryland. The 10 states ranked at the bottom are New York, California, Florida, Rhode Island, Arkansas, Louisiana, Arizona, New Jersey, Kentucky, West Virginia and Nevada.
Florida also ranked even lower for volunteerism. Its spot as 47th in the country only surpasses Nevada, New York and Louisiana. The states with the highest volunteer rates were Utah, Minnesota, Idaho, Kansas, Iowa and Nebraska.
Floridians like to think of themselves as charitable but the numbers don't always pan out. The difference between the percent of population who claim to have donated money and the percent of taxpayers who actually donated money to charity is 43 percent.
On the positive side, Florida was ranked Number 5 in the top five states to show the highest growth in charitable giving from 2006 to 2012.
Red states were more generous than blue states (based on the 2012 election), WalletHub found.
The site analyzed states according to eight factors, including percentage of taxpayers who donated money to charity, the volunteer rate and the number of public charities per capita.
In general, Americans are pretty charitable folks. The National Philanthropic Trust reports that 95.4 percent of households donate to charities, with each contributing an annual average of $2,974. In 2013, Americans gave more than $335 billion, 72 percent of which came directly from individuals, according to the Trust. And earlier this year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that nearly 63 million people volunteered with an organization at least once between September 2012 and September 2013.
In Florida, questions about charities were among the top three issues of callers to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services hotline in November.
To help those who want to support a charity, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services offers several tips before making a contribution.
Give with a Plan: Find a cause that is meaningful to you and your family, do some research and set priorities. Most effective donations are not spur-of-the-moment.
Know Who You Are Giving To: Most charities in Florida are required to register with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and provide financial information about how contributions are spent. You can check a charity's status online at www.800helpfla.com or by phone at 1-800-HELP-FLA (1-800-435-7352) or, for Spanish speakers, at 1-800-FL-AYUDA (1-800-352-9832).
Maximize Your Gift: If you decide to make a gift, find out if your employer will match your charitable contribution to maximize its value.
Keep Track of the Work Your Donation Supports: Once you have made your gift, mark your calendar with important dates of the charity's meetings and key events for the year. You can also follow up your donation with a volunteer experience.
Understand the Tax Benefits: Most charitable donations are tax-deductible. Make sure you get the proper documentation so that you can deduct your contribution at tax time. Keep a record of your donation and make sure you receive a receipt from the organization. Don't rely on a cancelled check to count as a receipt.
For more information about individual charities, you can also check out the state's Gift Giver's Guide online.