Charitable Minnesotans donate $5.7B and oodles of time to good causes

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The amount of money given to good causes by Minnesotans is returning to pre-recession levels, as the state continues to be one of America's most charitable.

A study by the Minnesota Council on Foundations (MCF) found that Minnesotans donated $5.7 billion in 2012, a 2 percent rise on 2011, with educational causes the most popular recipient for donations.

MPR notes that the figure is still down on the $6.1 billion that was donated in 2007, but the gap is closing as people enjoy better economic conditions.

"Giving is a discretionary activity, so deciding to feel comfortable enough with your personal financial situation to be able to make a gift is a big choice," MCF director Trista Harris told MPR. "But I think people are starting to feel much more comfortable, employment is up, so I think we'll continue to see giving continue to rise as well."

While donations from individual Minnesotans has risen in 2012, accounting for $4.1 billion of the amount donated, the MCF report notes that corporate grant-making fell by 6 percent.

This is partly because the 2011 figure was inflated by a $100 million donation boost by the Margaret A. Cargill charitable foundation, a boost that was not replicated in 2012, according to MinnPost.

Minnesotans donate money and time

It is not just through cash donations that Minnesotans prove their generosity, with a study finding that state residents are even more charitable with their time.

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A survey by Wallet Hub ranked Minnesota as the 6th most charitable state in the country, behind Utah, South Dakota, Idaho, Nebraska and Kansas.

But while Minnesota was only the 9th highest in terms of money donated to good causes, it came 2nd highest for the amount of time donated by volunteers, the Pioneer Press reports.

The states that ranked the lowest were Nevada, West Virginia, Kentucky, New Jersey and Arizona.

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