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Study: Glen Ellyn Among Nation's Most Charitable Communities

While Glen Ellyn ranks No. 269 for overall giving, the village's wealthiest give the least based on income, a study shows.

Glen Ellyn knows how to give back to others in need and ranks among the top giving communities across the nation.

A study released Monday used Internal Revenue Service data to compile giving statistics based on ZIP codes, showing Glen Ellyn and its residents rank 269 out of the 28,725 for total giving across incomes among zip codes nationwide.

The Chronicle of Philanthropy conducted the study, which reviewed the most comprehensive IRS returns from 2008 to determine the level of giving of residents across the country. The study examined giving data by ZIP code and by income level in every city and town in the United States, according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy.

residents of all incomes made $45.4 million total charitable contributions, ranking the community as No. 269, according to the study. Because of discrepancies in data for those with incomes under $50,000, the study only included those with incomes of $50,000 or more.

The most giving group in Glen Ellyn was among residents reporting the lowest income, between $50,000 to $99,999, according to the study. Residents in that earning bracket had a discretionary income of $30,749 and donated 6.9 percent of their income or an average contribution of $2,123.

Glen Ellyn residents reporting income of $100,000 to $199,999 had a discretionary income of $84,417, but gave a smaller percentage in contributions, according to the study. The average contribution made was $3,357 or 4 percent of income. 

The highest earning group, those with incomes of $200,000 and higher were the least giving based on discretionary income, according to the study. Of the 2,134 tax returns in this bracket, the average discretionary income was $337,391. The average contribution was $13,004 or 3.9 percent of income reported.

The community doesn’t rank as highly when looking at the median contribution, according to the study. The village’s rank drops to 6,674 out of 28,725 with a median contribution of $3,227.

As a state, Illinois ranked 20 with total contributions of $6 billion, a median discretionary income of $56,113 and a median contribution of $2,371 and 4.2 percent of income. 

Other key findings from the study, according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy:

Middle-class Amer­i­cans give a far bigger share of their discretionary income to charities than the rich. Households that earn $50,000 to $75,000 give an average of 7.6 percent of their discretionary income to charity, compared with an average of 4.2 percent for people who make $100,000 or more. In the Washington metropolitan area, for example, low- and middle-income communities like Suitland, Md., and Capitol Heights, Md., donate a much bigger share of discretionary income than do wealthier communities like Bethesda, Md., and McLean, Va.

Wealthy people who live in neighborhoods with many other wealthy people give a smaller share of their incomes to charity than rich people who live in more economically diverse communities. When people making more than $200,000 a year account for more than 40 percent of the taxpayers in a ZIP code, the wealthy residents give an average of 2.8 percent of discretionary income to charity, compared with an average of 4.2 percent for all itemizers earning $200,000 or more.

Source: The Chronicle of Philanthropy

Read how the data was compiled 

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