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Study Says NK Residents Less Generous Than Average American

The Chronicle of Philanthropy has released detailed information on philanthropy by state, county, town and zip code. Those making the least money in North Kingstowh give, percentage-wise, the most.


North Kingstown residents give less to charity than most Americans, but slightly more than most Rhode Islanders give, according to a study released this week.

The Chronicle of Philanthropy's "How America Gives" study reported that NK residents, with a median discretionary income of $62,130, had a median contribution of 3.4 percent, or $2,108, of their income to charity in 2008, the tax year for which data was collected.

Households making less than $100,000 gave more than those in the higher income levels. According to the study, those in the lower bracket with an average discretionary income of $32,779 gave 4.6 percent of their income (roughly $1,500 per home) versus the 3.1 percent (roughly $2,499) of those making between $100,000 and $199,999 with an average discretionary income of $81,364.

On the whole, North Kingstown residents gave at a slightly higher clip than the state average of 3.1 percent, giving $13.2 million total. But the town, South County and the state as a whole fall well short of the national average of 4.7 percent. (See chart below.)

Geographic Area Median Discretionary Income Percentage Donated Dollar Amount Donated
North Kingstown
$62,130 3.4 $2,108 South County
$48,097 3.8 $1,940 Rhode Island
$53,181 3.1 $1,666 United States $54,783 4.7 $2,564

The study is based on exact dollar amounts released by the Internal Revenue Service that show the value of charitable deductions claimed by American taxpayers in 2008. 

The Chronicle’s rankings show the percentage of their income that households donated from the money they had left after paying their taxes and covering housing, food, and other essential expenses.

Detailed data is searchable by zip code.

P O V August 23, 2012 at 12:34 PM
Tax returns show for 2010 and 2011 show that GOP VP hopeful Paul Ryan donated $12,991 and $2,600 respectively. Ryan's income for those years totaled well over $650,000, showing that the family donated only 2.4% of its income to charity. That's right. 2.4 percent. "The Bureau of Labor Statistics' latest survey of consumer expenditure found that the poorest fifth of U.S. households contributed an average of 4.3 percent of their incomes to charitable organizations in 2007. The richest fifth gave at less than half that rate, 2.1 percent."
Scott Madison August 23, 2012 at 01:49 PM
I didn't know Paul Ryan lived in North Kingstown? Congrats to POV for making a local story about chairty giving and spinning it to push thier mudslinging agenda.
Mark Williams August 23, 2012 at 02:28 PM
The article compares local giving with state and national figures and the title even states that context, so....
E August 23, 2012 at 02:33 PM
The study is based on released data collected from the IRS, re: financial contributions. However, when discussing how philanthropic individuals are, (or aren't) I think it's vital to also look at other factors... like how much they give of their time, and talent to charitable organizations. I think to truly gain insight as to how charitable NK residents are, you'd be remiss if you didn't add in these two additional factors. So, what do I think of the above study? I don't think we can transfer such results to reflect people's generosity. People just don't have the extra money to give. Donating old coats to a church, volunteering to walk dogs at the SK animal shelter, bringing canned goods to the Food Pantry, buying popcorn from the neighborhood Boy Scout, volunteering to man a station at the Norman Bird Sanctuary Harvest Fest, etc... etc.... are truer indicators of how charitable people are. However, since the question was posed, The Gabrielle Dinsmore Heart and Hope Fund, The ALS Foundation and The Potter League For Animals are three charities I like to donate $$ toward.
chucklesinri August 23, 2012 at 03:32 PM
IRS tax returns are an incomplete picture of cost to live in a given place. The reality is that Rhode Island is the 7th most expensive state to live in ( http://www.cnbc.com/id/46413848/ ). And that of all the South County towns, North Kingstown has the highest combined taxes (combining the big 3: motor vehicle, residential & fire district). (data gleaned from www.riedc.com, www.riliving.com, www.muni-info.ri.gov ). I take the standard deduction on my taxes, so the IRS has absolutely no info on any of these town taxes from me. Nor, for that matter, do they have info on my charitable giving.
NK Parent September 20, 2012 at 02:12 PM
POV might have hijacked the thread but that's still an embarrassingly low giving percentage for Ryan. I assume these figures are true (as their easy to verify) so I'm not sure how it's "spinning" or "mudslinging" but I'm not surprised that Romney supporters would want to change the conversation as fast as possible. :)

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