From the Chronicle of Philanthropy: As Wealthy Give Smaller Share of Income to Charity, Middle Class Digs Deeper

A surge in giving powered Atlanta's "BeltLine" project and other causes. (Photo credit: Keith Philpott for HDR)

A surge in giving powered Atlanta’s “BeltLine” project and other causes. (Photo credit: Keith Philpott for HDR)

From the Chronicle of Philanthropy:

As the recession lifted, poor and middle class Americans dug deeper into their wallets to give to charity, even though they were earning less. At the same time, according to a new Chronicle analysis of tax data, wealthy Americans earned more, but the portion of the income they gave to charity declined.

Using the IRS data, The Chronicle was able to track gifts to charity at the state, county, metropolitan-area, and ZIP code levels. The data were for gifts to charity among taxpayers who itemize deductions on their tax forms. It captured $180-billion that was given to charity in 2012, or about 80 percent of the total amount given to charity as tabulated by “Giving USA.”

The Chronicle study found that Americans give, on average, about 3 percent of their income to charity, a figure that has not budged significantly for decades. However, that figure belies big differences in giving patterns between the rich and the poor.

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