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Charitable giving in Wichita and Omaha — check out the differences

Wichita, Kan.
An aerial view of downtown Wichita, Kan.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Financial support for local charities reveals what a community truly values, according to Nathan Dietz, a senior researcher with the University of Maryland’s Do Good Institute and the Urban Institute. Dietz tracks funding for local charities across the nation and has provided information on 2014 donations to charities in the Wichita, Kan., and Omaha metropolitan statistical areas.

In all but one category listed below — education spending — Omaha’s public charities received far more funding than those in Wichita on a per capita basis. (Susie Buffett’s Omaha-based Sherwood Foundation funds public school programs through the Omaha Public Schools Foundation, which is not part of Dietz’s data set.)

While funding for charities in both cities grew at the same pace across most categories in 2014 and the decade before, Omaha started at a higher level of giving.

Arts

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Omaha: $330 million / $361 per capita

Wichita: $31 million / $49 per capita

National: $40 billion / $125 per capita

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Hospitals

Omaha: $3.9 billion / $4,216 per capita

Wichita: $899 million / $1,413 per capita

National: $745 billion / $2,335 per capita

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Other Health Services

Omaha: $787 million / $860 per capita

Wichita: $239 million / $376 per capita

National: $332 billion / $1,040 per capita

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Human Services: criminal justice reform, food insecurity, public safety, sports programs, housing and other services

Omaha: $900 million / $984 per capita

Wichita: $515 million / $810 per capita

National: $219 billion / $687 per capita

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Education Spending (other than higher education): K-12 education, non-school education, technical and other training services

Omaha: $147 million / $161 per capita

Wichita: $133 million / $209 per capita

National: $114 billion / $357 per capita

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