That question about the recession stuck with us, though. One would expect that, as the effects of the recession increased, charitable giving would likely drop. As The Chronicle pointed out, though, that’s not what happened.
We pulled the change in poverty level in each state between 2006 and 2012 and compared it to the national change — a 2.6-percentage-point increase. Then we mapped that against the change in giving in each state between those same years. States that saw lower poverty increases versus the national average were more likely to see declines. States that saw high poverty increases versus the national average — that is, more poor people — were more likely to see increases.