Study Says Stoughton Residents Less Generous Than Average American

But, Stoughton residents are more generous than the average Massachusetts resident, according to a study by The Chronicle of Philanthropy, which has released detailed information on philanthropy by state, county, town and zip code.

The percentage of income Stoughton residents give to charity is more than the state average, but less than the average in the county and across the country, according to a study released this week.

Interestingly, those making less in Stoughton give the most, percentage-wise.

The Chronicle of Philanthropy's "How America Gives" study reported that Stoughton residents, with a median discretionary income of $53,101, had a median contribution of 2.9 percent, or $1,537, of their income to charity in 2008, the tax year for which data was collected.

By way of comparison, the median contribution for Norfolk County was 3.0%; the median contribution for the state was 2.8%; and the median contribution for the country was 4.7%.

Geographic Area Median Discretionary Income Percentage Donated Dollar Amount Donated
Stoughton $53,101 2.9 $1,537
Norfolk County $53,453

Massachusetts $58,099 2.8 $1,652
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.

While The Chronicle used averages to compare towns, readers may also search by income bracket. The study shows that those reporting median discretionary income of $50,000 to $99,999 in Stoughton - the lowest bracket in the study -  gave an average of 3.9 percent.

Those making $100,000-$199,999 reportedly gave 2.6 percent and those more than $200,000 gave 2.4 percent.

Stoughton's residents in the 45-64 and 64+ age brackets were most generous, with the percentage of contributions coming from these age brackets exceeding the county, state and country averages. Meanwhile, the percentage of contributions from Stoughton residents under 20, between 20-29 and between 30-44 were all below county, state and country averages.

So Stoughton, we want to know ... What do you think of the results of the study?

Justin Braga August 23, 2012 at 10:18 PM
Unfortunately, it appears the study only tells part of the story. If you give charitably but don't have other significant itemized deductions on your tax return to exceed the standard deduction, I believe your generosity is missed by the study.
Fiscal Conservative August 24, 2012 at 01:18 PM
Years ago, before Big Brother stuck its grubby hands into our everyday lives, people were far more charitable. Feeling by many now is, Govt wants people to be dependent on it by offering close to 50, very inefficient programs, to aid people. I, for one, hate these programs. Although the intentions are honorable, they are loaded with corruption and waste. I would rather be able to take my $$$ and donate to programs that run efficiently. More of my $$$ would be going where it is intended, not for 42 different salaries with full retirement & health benefits, when 1 - 2 people could perform the same in private charities. I still give every month to a different charity, give to my churches food collection every week. The amount may be less because of various factors, but I do believe that I am "my brothers keeper". The War of Poverty has shown not to be effective in the last 50 years. In fact, we may have lost this war, due to govts ineffectiveness. Govt may have created a beast that will continue to grow because of its lack of common sense. Maybe, Stoughton residents, may be fed us with govts intrusion and just said "screw it". I think its really sad that I keep bringing up the flaws of govt intervention in our lives. Thing is most of what I state is factual, not just personal belief. Anybody can research anything nowadays. Try it, you may find some shocking details.
Anne Havlin August 24, 2012 at 07:05 PM
The generosity of many Stoughton people has enabled the 2 food pantries (I speak for St. Anthony's Market) to remain strong in their mission to continue offering nourishing food to Stoughton citizens. While I do suspect that some of the people are giving the most of the funding, I also believe the number of generous souls has increased now that they have seen the devestation of the nationwide financial difficulties with which we are living. I applaud the generous in our town, and ask others to keep their eyes open for charities that give 100% back to others.
Carol Siegel August 25, 2012 at 02:06 AM
My daughter and I just spent the day making 7 pillowcases in patriotic fabrics to donate to the families being deployed overseas in the beginning of September. We supplied all the fabric, time, supplies, and transportation to the drop off. Every year I make a quilt for foster children in the DFC, a quilt for the Fisher House in West Roxbury, and a "Quilts for Kids" quilt for children in hospitals. I supply the fabric, batting, backing, thread, etc. These works of love take a lot of time and effort. I love doing it. I have been involved in volunteer work since 1961. Never been paid for it. Never been able to deduct anything. But it doesn't count as a charitable donation. I know hundres of other women who do the same thing - food pantries for every town, church charities, knitting hats for chemo patients, etc. What are we worth?
Fiscal Conservative August 25, 2012 at 01:20 PM
Carol: I commend you and your daughter for being so caring, wish there were more like you. Unfortunately, thats not really the case any longer. I'm sue that for every caring person you will find, at least, the equal number who only want to get what they can from others. Our society is tipping, rapidly, to one of "takers" and "givers". Until the "givers" out number the "takers" this country will flounder to its ruination. President Obama (and I'm not a big fan of his), stated a while back that the "people have become soft". We see more of this every day. People want everything for doing as little as possible. Its time we reverse this trend and force people to do more for themselves. This country was built on self reliance. It flourished because of this philosophy. The attitude changed in the last 50 years. Look where we stand now. All my reading and researching (and I look at every possible side of an issue) has led me to believe we are rapidly reaching the point of no return. My days are becoming fewer, what happens to me is of no consequence. What the future holds for today's youth is frightening. They will truly be the "first generation to have it worse than the previous one". Again Carol, being charitable is honorable, we need more like you. To live, willingly, off the charity of others, says little of those. Unfortunately, they are becoming the majority of our citizenship.


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