How much is your area giving to charities? A new national study details the generosity in America's communities.
Residents of Santee gave $17.4 million, a median $1,906, or 3.5 percent of their income, per household to charity in 2008, according to a study released Monday by The Chronicle of Philanthropy- a figure that falls below the national and state averages.
Nearby residents of Lakeside gave at a slightly higher rate of $2,081 per household, and 3.7 percent of their income. As did El Cajon, with a median contribution of $2,399 and 4.2 percent of income.
Metro San Diego ranked eighteenth amongst cities and California ranked first nationally in giving to charities in 2008, with more than $17 billion given, according to the study. Residents in the San Diego area gave a median $2,328 per household, or 4.0 percent of their discretionary income. Statewide, California residents gave a median $2,396 or 4.4 percent of their income.
The study was based on Internal Revenue Service records of Americans who itemized deductions. It gives ZIP-code level detail about the percentage of discretionary income that people gave to charity.
The study found:
- States that voted Republican in the last presidential election are far more likely to be generous to charities than those that voted Democratic. The top eight states in giving, including Georgia, preferred John McCain over Barack Obama.
- Utah was the No. 1 state in giving at 10.6 percent, with Salt Lake City as the most giving city. By contrast, residents in Massachusetts and three other New England states give less than 3 percent. New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Jersey and Rhode Island are the least-generous states.
- Lower-income people give a far bigger share of their income to charities than the wealthy.
- Rich people who live in areas with mostly wealthy people give a smaller share of their incomes to charity than rich people in economically diverse areas.
- Regions that are deeply religious give more than those that are not. Two of the top 10 states—Utah and Idaho—have high numbers of Mormons, who tithe more consistently than other churches. The other states in the top 10 are all in the so-called Bible Belt.
The Chronicle website also features an interactive map looking at how America gives.
What local charities do you choose to give to? Share in the comments.