Friday, August 24, 2012

The Poor Give More...Really!


I tend to like interactive maps that deal with demographics.

For everyone with a focus on fundraising, this one is a doozy! The Chronicle of Philanthropy has an incredibly interesting report entitled 'How America Gives'. It's an interesting report on America's generosity - or in some cases lack of the same.

Although I've not explored all of it, here's what I've found out - poor communities give a greater percentage of their income than more affluent communities. 

How so? Glad you asked...

In my July Dallas Morning News column, I referenced the concentrated poverty which characterized one area of our city, zip code 75215. The problems really catch few people by surprise. The information uses IRS data inclusive of people who made $50,000 or more after taxes and household expenses. These were chosen because people at this income level tend to itemize their taxes.

But 'The Chronicle of Philanthropy' gives us still another view.

The median discretionary income in the area is $35,700.
Total donations for the zip code 75215 totaled almost $950,000
The median charitable contribution in 75215 was $4275
The percentage of income given was 12 percent

Now take for instance a more affluent zip code: 75220

The total contributions totaled $36.5 million
The median contribution was $3331
The median discretionary income was $71,000
The percentage of income given amounted to 4.7%

There are a number of conclusions you can draw about this and perhaps a number reasons for the disparity. But among those conclusions and reasons may be this: the closer you live to those who have less, the more generous you are. Now one could argue that the poor should fund their own charities since they are so generous. Maybe, but there's another possibility: a true spirit of community would recognize those with less as neighbors and make generosity the norm rather than the exception.

Check out the interactive map and see how generous your community is...


No comments: