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How Much Do Oconee County Residents Give to Charity?

New study details giving by ZIP Code and finds areas with more GOP voters are more likely to support charities.

Middle-income people gave more to charities in 2008 than wealthy people, and those in Republican-leaning states gave more than those in Democratic states, a new study by the Chronicle of Philanthropy finds.

The South is first among four regions studied by the Chronicle, giving an average of 5.2 percent of discretionary income to charity, compared with 4.1 percent in the Northeast.

Oconee County residents living in the 30677 ZIP code gave a median of $3,658, or 5.9 percent, per household to charity in 2008, according to a study released Monday by The Chronicle of Philanthropy. Total contributions from residents (30677) equaled $13.4 million.

Metro Atlanta ranked fifth and Georgia ninth nationally in giving to charities in 2008, according to the study. Residents in the Atlanta area gave
a median $3,286 per household, or 5.9% of their discretionary income. Statewide, Georgia residents gave a median $3,396 or 6.2% of their income.

Religious involvement plays a major role in charitable giving: When only donations to secular charities are counted, the Northeast leads, giving 1.4 percent of discretionary income to the South's 0.9 percent. (See the second PDF displayed to the right of this story's text.)

The charitable giving data, based on IRS records of Americans who itemized their deductions, is searchable down to the ZIP code level in the Chronicle of Philanthropy's interactive map.

Among the study's other key findings:

  • The top eight states for charitable giving in 2008 voted for John McCain for president. Georgia ranks eighth on the overall list. (See the PDF displayed to the right of this story.)
  • People who earned $50,000 to $70,000 a year gave an average of 7.6 percent of their discretionary income to charity, compared with 4.6 percent for people who made more than $100,000.
  • States that offer tax incentives for charitable giving can increase total donations, often at no cost to the donor when the state provides dollar-for-dollar tax credits.

What do you think of the study's findings? Tell us in the comments.

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Racer X August 21, 2012 at 12:59 PM
This is a good example of why Conservatives think social programs (Charity) should be handled by private groups instead of the government. Conservatives actually give. Today's Liberals, on the other hand, appear to think that the government should provide charity, so, in turn, do not give as much. This is pretty clear cut. That said, I do have some liberal friends who give very generously but they are church going liberals who often don't actually qualify in today's liberal environment. There are many more moderate liberals and conservatives in this country than there are extreme lefts an rights. All moderate liberals and conservatives can get along famously. The extreme left and right will have us think otherwise and continue to pit us against each other. End result: We are not focusing on the real problem, a government that is like a massive runaway train, heading over a cliff. Government growth not only needs to be halted, it needs to go on a massive diet. Moderates are the only ones who can apply the brakes. The far right and far left are too busy massaging their egos and killing our country.
Dan Matthews August 21, 2012 at 03:56 PM
Mike, you write well about conservatives, but you do not know so much about liberals. Whether or not your liberal friends attend church does not neatly compress or qualify them into your orthodoxy. Also liberals do not want government to give out benefits to everyone, despite what you may believe. We can work together in Oconee, in Atlanta, and in Washington to help those in need, with our churches, with our private organizations and with the professionals who know how to administer to those truly in need
Racer X August 21, 2012 at 06:42 PM
Thanks Dan. I do indeed believe we can all work together, that was my point. Unfortunately, I sometimes have trouble communicating well in this medium. I much prefer personal interaction. I meant to say that I believe the groups who cannot hope to work together are the far left and the far right. In my opinion, Liberal and Conservative are not dirty words, except when taken to the extreme (Pretty much like anything else). I have many friends who lean liberal while I lean conservative and we are quite agreeable on most issues. In fact, I have some:"liberal" views of my own. The issues we don't agree on we discuss to gain each other perspectives and usually find a common ground. Reading two people from opposite far ends go at each other is non-productive and continues to keep the rest of us divided and unable to address the real problems, which I believe to stem from Washington, DC. Thank you for your kind critique. I am in agreement with you. PS I am not a big church goer but am indeed becoming wary of the attacks being sustained by people who are.

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