How Charitable Are Easton's Residents?
A new report from The Chronicle of Philanthropy ranks communities around the country in terms of giving.
Here's some more fuel to the fire in the Easton-Phillipsburg rivalry:
Residents in Easton give a good deal more to charity than their neighbors across the Delaware.
That's according to a new report from The Chronicle of Philanthropy, which looked at how much discretionary income Americans in 28,275 communities gave to charities in 2008.
In that year, residents in Easton's 18042 zipcode gave 3.2 percent of their income to charity, compare to 2.8 percent in Phillipsburg's 08865 zipcode.
Easton also outranked Phillipsburg in median contributions ($1,437 to $1413) and total contributions ($7 million to $6.7 million)
Overall, Easton ranked 5,552 out of all the 28,275 communities the study examined.
Pennsylvania as a whole gave $4.7 billion to charity that year, which meant it ranked seventh out of 50 states and Washington, D.C. in total amount given. But Pennsylvanians had a median contribution of $2,181 out of discretionary income of $55,661 which put it at 40th out of 51. The median amount Pennsylvanians gave was 4.1 percent of their descretionary income.
The Chronicle found other interesting trends. States with large populations of religious people generally give more than those without. “Two of the top nine states – Utah and Idaho – have high numbers of Mormon residents, who have a tradition of tithing at least 10 percent of their income to the church,” a story on the Chronicle website noted. Salt Lake City households, for example, give a median of 9 percent of their discretionary income. All the other states in the top nine are in the Bible Belt.
But, the Chronicle noted, “when religious giving isn’t counted, the geography of giving is very different. Some states in the Northeast jump into the top 10 when secular gifts alone are counted. New York would vault from No. 18 to No. 2, and Pennsylvania would climb from No. 40 to No. 4.”
Red states give more than blue states, the group said. “The eight states where residents gave the highest share of income to charity went for John McCain in 2008,” the story said. “The seven-lowest-ranking states supported Barack Obama.” Red states are Republican dominated and blue states are Democratic dominated.
Here are a few other interesting findings:
-- Those in the middle class give a much larger share of their income to charity – 7.6 percent for Americans earning $50,000-$75,000 – than the wealthy. Americans making more than $100,000 give an average of 4.2 percent.
-- Wealthy people who live in places surrounded by other rich peoplegive less of a share of their incomes than well-off Americans in diverse communities.
-- Residents from New England states like New Hampshire and Maine gave the smallest share of their discretionary income and those in Southern states gave the most.
-- Tax credits for giving make a big difference in how much people give. Arizona has special tax benefits for those who donate and charities are receiving more than $100 million each year.