How much is your area giving to charities? A new national study details the generosity in America's communities.
Compared to other parts of the East Bay, Berkeley residents are generous when it comes to charitable giving, according to a study released Monday by "The Chronicle of Philanthropy."
The median chartiable contribution in 2008 from Berkeley was $2,762, or 4.7 percent of a median discretionary income of $59,224.
But for Berkeleyites making between $50k and $99,999 the average contribution was $1,930, or 11 percent of an an average discretionary income of $17,615
The difference in giving is reflected nationally in what the "The Chronicle of Philanthropy" has dubbed the Generosity Divide.Berkeley Income Levels Percent of Income Given Average Contribution Average Discretionary Income Total Returns $50k-$99,999 11 percent $1,930 $17,615 6,517 $100k-$199,999 4.4 percent $2,961 $68,077 6,684 $200k and up 5.1 percent $14,594 $284,646 4,291
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.Percent of income given Median Contribution Median Discretionary Income Total returns Albany 3.5 percent $1,947 $56,123 3,181 Alameda 3.6 percent $2,006 $55,824 12,386 Benicia 3.3 percent $2,126 $64,985 6,012 Berkeley 4.7 percent $2,762 $59,224 17,672 Concord 3.9 percent $1,944 $50,348 18,367 El Cerrito 3.9 percent $2,207 $56,585 4,592 Hercules 4.1 percent $2,052 $50,634 5,310 Lafayette 3.8 percent $5,660 $149,773 7,079 Martinez 3.6 percent $1,892 $53,282 9,205 Moraga 3.9 percent $4,596 $116,498 4,045 Orinda 5.0 percent $9,226 $184,227 5,271 Pleasant Hill 3.4 percent $1,968 $58,547 6,922 Walnut Creek 4.2 percent $2,658 $63,456 19,611
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 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.