2018’s Most Charitable Cities in Maryland

Most Charitable Cities in Maryland

We all have a favorite way of giving back to our community. From donating hard-earned funds to volunteering time to help others in need, there are endless ways to lift others’ hearts during the season of giving—and Marylanders exhibit this generosity better than almost anyone in the nation.

Maryland ranks as the second most charitable state in the US,1 but we wanted to dig a bit deeper to learn which of its cities were the most charitable of all.

Read on to learn who we ranked as Maryland’s top ten most charitable cities below.

Factors we considered

Using information from Charity Navigator and the most recent available IRS data, we looked at four key factors to rank Maryland’s most charitable cities:

  • Amount of charitable donations by residents of each city
  • Total number of charities in each city
  • City population (limited to cities with 10,000 or more people)
  • Average contribution per person

Curious about how we calculated our rankings? You can read a full description in our methodology section.

#1: Hyattsville

Hyattsville tops our list as Maryland’s most charitable city. Thanks to an incredibly high average contribution of $7.06 per person, Hyattsville’s giving shines in the Old Line State.

Hyattsville charitable giving

Ranking factorsFigureRanking within state
Amount of charitable donations$129,4917
Number of charities6299
City population18,33357
Average contribution per person$7.061
Ranking factors
Amount of charitable donations
Number of charities
City population
Average contribution per person
Figure Ranking within state
$129,491 7
629 9
18,333 57
$7.06 1

#2: Bel Air

Since we limited our rankings to cities with 10,000 residents or more, Bel Air was the smallest town to make the cut. But despite its small size, its residents have big hearts.

Bel Air boasts the second-highest average contribution per person at $5.35. It also has one of the highest concentrations of charities per capita, making it a great place to live if you want to engage in a good cause.

Bel Air charitable giving

Ranking factorsFigureRanking within state
Amount of charitable donations$53,71221
Number of charities29322
City population10,03784
Average contribution per person$5.352
Ranking factors
Amount of charitable donations
Number of charities
City population
Average contribution per person
Figure Ranking within state
$53,712 21
293 22
10,037 84
$5.35 2

#3: Lanham

Like Bel Air, Lanham has a rather small population, ranking eighty-third out of the eighty-four cities we researched. This small town has a lot to be proud of, however.

Lanham’s average charitable contribution is $4.91 per person—the third highest on our list. As a result, its total charitable donations land within the top 30% of the entire state.

Lanham charitable giving

Ranking factorsFigureRanking within state
Amount of charitable donations$49,87223
Number of charities32617
City population10,15783
Average contribution per person$4.913
Ranking factors
Amount of charitable donations
Number of charities
City population
Average contribution per person
Figure Ranking within state
$49,872 23
326 17
10,157 83
$4.91 3

#4: Laurel

Laurel may have started out as a humble mill town, and it hasn’t left that productive heritage behind as it continues to churn out charitable donations year after year.

Laurel’s citizens donated $123,643 in 2016—the eighth-highest total for charitable donations in the state. So how did it reach number four on our list? Its average contribution of $4.77 per person was the fifth highest of all the cities we surveyed, and it has a rather high charity per capita ratio to boot.

Laurel charitable giving

Ranking factorsFigureRanking within state
Amount of charitable donations$123,6428
Number of charities46814
City population25,90642
Average contribution per person$4.775
Ranking factors
Amount of charitable donations
Number of charities
City population
Average contribution per person
Figure Ranking within state
$123,642 8
468 14
25,906 42
$4.77 5

#5: Bethesda

Bethesda isn’t just a great place for a day of shopping—it’s also a great place to give back.

Bethesda takes third place in two of our major categories: number of charities and amount of charitable donations. However, it’s also the largest city on our list so far—bringing its average contribution per person down to $3.97 (which is still rather impressive).

Bethesda charitable giving

Ranking factorsFigureRanking within state
Amount of charitable donations$251,3803
Number of charities1,1123
City population63,37412
Average contribution per person$3.976
Ranking factors
Amount of charitable donations
Number of charities
City population
Average contribution per person
Figure Ranking within state
$251,380 3
1,112 3
63,374 12
$3.97 6

#6: Silver Spring

Silver Spring takes the cake for the most charitable donations among our top ten. In fact, within the whole state of Maryland, Silver Spring’s total of $264,666 comes second only to Baltimore’s total of $422,464.

So why didn’t Baltimore make the list? Put simply, population.

Even though Baltimore’s total donations nearly doubled Silver Spring’s, its population also dwarfs Silver Spring’s by over 400,000 people—reducing Baltimore’s average contribution to just $0.68 per person.

Silver Spring’s contribution, on the other hand, is five times greater at $3.45 per person.

Silver Spring charitable giving

Ranking factorsFigureRanking within state
Amount of charitable donations$246,6662
Number of charities1,4962
City population76,1764
Average contribution per person$3.459
Ranking factors
Amount of charitable donations
Number of charities
City population
Average contribution per person
Figure Ranking within state
$246,666 2
1,496 2
76,176 4
$3.45 9

#7: Owings Mills

Home of the Baltimore Raven’s team headquarters, Owings Mills also houses a team of incredibly charitable citizens. Despite its small population being in the bottom half of the cities we researched, it still managed to reach $75,396 in charitable donations.

Between the high number of charitable contributions and the 317 charities in the relatively small city, Owings Mills easily makes its way into our top ten.

Annapolis charitable giving

Ranking factorsFigureRanking within state
Amount of charitable donations$75,39616
Number of charities31718
City population20,62251
Average contribution per person$3.667
Ranking factors
Amount of charitable donations
Number of charities
City population
Average contribution per person
Figure Ranking within state
$75,396 16
317 18
20,622 51
$3.66 7

#8: Annapolis

Maryland’s state capital handily secures the eighth spot on our list. Annapolis’s residents contribute the tenth most in the state at an average of $3.11 per person, and its 764 charities give them plenty of options to put that money toward a good cause.

Owings Mills charitable giving

Ranking factorsFigureRanking within state
Amount of charitable donations$122,1559
Number of charities7647
City population39,32123
Average contribution per person$3.1110
Ranking factors
Amount of charitable donations
Number of charities
City population
Average contribution per person
Figure Ranking within state
$122,155 9
764 7
39,321 23
$3.11 10

#9: Fort Washington

Fort Washington, named after the historic fort bearing the same name, is a beacon of charitable strength within the state.

Although it may have a lower ratio of charities per capita than the other cities in our top ten, Fort Washington’s average contribution of $3.65 per person beats both Annapolis and Silver Spring.

Fort Washington charitable giving

Ranking factorsFigureRanking within state
Amount of charitable donations$86,53115
Number of charities30021
City population23,71746
Average contribution per person$3.658
Ranking factors
Amount of charitable donations
Number of charities
City population
Average contribution per person
Figure Ranking within state
$86,531 15
300 21
23,717 46
$3.65 8

#10: Potomac

Despite CNNMoney listing Potomac as the most affluent town in the country,2 it’s only the tenth most charitable town in Maryland.

This isn’t due to its residents’ contributions, however. At $4.85 per person, its average donations are the fourth highest in the state!

The only reason it didn’t earn a higher spot is found in its number of charities. Although Potomac ranks fifteenth for its total number of charities (an impressive 409), it lands down at the twenty-third spot for number of charities per person.

Potomac charitable giving

Ranking factorsFigureRanking within state
Amount of charitable donations$216,1614
Number of charities40915
City population44,96518
Average contribution per person$4.814
Ranking factors
Amount of charitable donations
Number of charities
City population
Average contribution per person
Figure Ranking within state
$216,161 4
409 15
44,965 18
$4.81 4

How generous is your city?

Inspired by Maryland’s most charitable cities? Let us know how your city stacks up in the comments below! Also, check out our Find-a-Mover tool if a move to one of these cities is calling your name.

Methodology

To get our rankings, we looked at cities in Maryland with a population of 10,000 or more.3 From there, we used information from Charity Navigator to determine the average number of charities per capita,4 as well as IRS data to calculate the average annual charitable contribution per person within each city.5

We then weighted both factors, giving 70% of the weight to the average charitable donation per person and 30% to the number of charities per capita.

Donations from individuals and companies significantly impact how well charitable organizations can provide their services, so we weighted the number of charitable donations per person more heavily.

Based on how the IRS defines charitable contributions, donations to any of these causes qualified for our rankings:

  • Corporations, trusts, funds, foundations, etc.
  • Religious organizations, churches, or synagogues
  • State or federal possessions (if you donate money to any US state or territory)
  • Any domestic fraternal society (if the contributions are for charitable purposes)
  • Nonprofit volunteer fire companies
  • Civil defense organizations
  • War veterans’ organizations or foundations
  • Nonprofit cemeteries (if contributing to the cemetery as a whole rather than a specific lot or area)

Sources

  1. Wallet Hub, “2017’s Most Charitable States
  2. CNNMoney, “Where the Money Makers Live
  3. US Census Bureau, “American Fact Finder
  4. Charity Navigator, “Your Guide to Intelligent Giving
  5. Internal Revenue Service, “Individual Income Tax Statistics

About Colin Holmes

Colin Holmes
Colin is no stranger to moving, having done so five times in the last five years. As a former journalist and documentary interviewer, Colin brings a wealth of research experience to improving your move.