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Wealthy not as Generous as Reported

For a while we were telling our clients that the wealthy were doing a very unselfish thing — giving more to make up for those who couldn’t give as much as they had in the past. According to the latest Chronicle of Philanthropy report, we need to clarify that. The Chronicle is reporting that wealthy Americans gave less to charity while low and middle-income individuals gave more in the period encompassing what they are calling The Great Recession.

For the period between 2006 – 2012, individuals making $200,000 or more reduced their giving to charities by 4.6%. At the same time, those earning less than $100,000 a year increased their charitable giving by 4.5% over the same period of time.

While wealthy Americans gave less of their income, their combined contributions totaled $77.5 billion in 2012, an increase of $4.6 billion compared with six years prior. So there were more wealthy Americans giving, just not giving as much as in previous years.

Other interesting findings by state and city:

  • Nevada residents increased the percentage of income they gave to charity (13%); more than any other state;

  • Utah residents gave the biggest chunk of their paychecks to charity ($65.60 of every $1,000 earned in 2012);

  • Other states ranking high in increased givers included Idaho, Connecticut, Georgia, and Florida;

  • Giving $17.40 of every $1,000 were residents of New Hampshire (they gave the least of any state);

  • The 4 cities with the highest total in incomes were Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington;

  • The above 4 cities, however, showed declines in the amounts individuals gave to charity.

In summary, the average 3% of income Americans give to charity remained the same as it has for decades, the report said.

Are there any numbers that jump out at you for your charity? Please share your findings.

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