Average Charitable Giving

Average Charitable Giving

What does this measure?

Contributions to charitable organizations, measured as an average per tax return with itemized contributions.

Why is this important?

Charitable giving supports a variety of organizations, including those that provide essential services to the community and people in need. The level of giving shows residents' willingness to invest in programs and organizations serving the community.

How is our county performing?

In 2017, the average charitable contribution in Berks County was $4,293, less than the average for Pennsylvania ($5,392) and the U.S. ($6,768). Since 2011, the average contribution in Berks County rose 26% in real terms, slightly higher than the state but less than the national (33%) levels.

The average charitable contribution in 2017 was higher than Berks in Chester ($6,584), Lancaster ($7,146), Lebanon ($5,465) and Montgomery ($7,097) counties. The average contribution was lower in Lehigh ($4,237) and Schuylkill ($3,547). Since 2011, Berks' average contribution rose less than some of the surrounding counties, which had increases ranging from 18% in Schuylkill to 36% in Chester.

Notes about the data

Figures are in constant 2018 dollars. These figures reflect contributions listed on tax returns with itemized deductions, which researchers estimate cover about 80% of all charitable giving nationally. High-income taxpayers are much more likely to file tax returns with itemized deductions than those with lower incomes. No county or state data are available on charitable contributions by taxpayers who take the standard deduction.

There may be additional research available on this topic. Click on Reports and Resources to learn more.

Average Charitable Giving
United States$5,097$5,621$5,686$6,056$6,282$6,504$6,768
Berks County$3,407$3,649$3,697$4,384$3,943$4,007$4,293
Berks County Regions
Reading city
Berks County Peers
Chester County$4,834$5,520$5,196$5,495$5,830$5,799$6,584
Lancaster County$5,529$5,987$6,003$6,486$6,937$6,984$7,146
Lebanon County$4,509$4,733$4,960$5,167$5,560$5,394$5,465
Lehigh County$3,482$3,706$3,719$3,978$3,899$4,205$4,237
Montgomery County$5,946$6,921$6,124$6,973$6,888$7,627$7,097
Schuylkill County$3,001$3,300$3,062$3,202$3,291$3,534$3,547

Source: Internal Revenue Service
Notes: Figures are in constant 2016 dollars.

Total Charitable Giving
United States$193,744,533,491$210,345,910,818$208,096,214,840$218,953,997,948$230,147,066,916$241,153,392,093$256,609,761,175
Berks County$174,287,609$183,235,248$180,984,553$209,492,370$188,710,856$192,635,302$206,576,280
Berks County Regions
Reading city
Berks County Peers
Chester County$493,359,241$562,994,200$523,936,070$548,211,462$585,960,124$589,155,170$670,902,954
Lancaster County$376,194,431$401,206,413$392,275,663$416,568,456$445,122,509$453,775,826$467,294,433
Lebanon County$66,718,804$68,059,869$69,734,398$71,143,589$76,620,282$76,480,776$78,640,992
Lehigh County$164,137,902$171,124,706$166,674,202$175,243,275$170,923,797$185,124,283$186,552,873
Montgomery County$981,663,722$1,133,130,263$987,600,726$1,113,099,323$1,105,014,037$1,233,774,074$1,144,946,297
Schuylkill County$29,072,680$30,892,655$27,616,089$27,886,989$27,877,235$29,543,969$29,405,089

Source: Internal Revenue Service
Notes: Figures are in constant 2016 dollars.

Early Prenatal Care Increasing
Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Children Living in Poverty Increasing
Children Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Single-Parent Families Increasing
Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Disengaged Youth Decreasing
Live Births to Teen Mothers Decreasing
Population by Age Not Applicable
Children with Elevated Blood Lead Levels Maintaining
Change in Population by Age and Gender Not Applicable
Change in Total Population by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Households by type Not Applicable
Foreign-Born Population Increasing
Seniors Living Alone Decreasing
Language Diversity Increasing
Unemployment Rate Decreasing
Change in Labor Force Decreasing
Employment to Population ratio Decreasing
Change in Jobs by Sector Not Applicable
Sector Share of Total Jobs Not Applicable
Average Salary by Sector Not Applicable
Change in Average Salary by Sector Not Applicable
People Entering/Leaving County/Region for Work Not Applicable
Public Assistance Maintaining
Spending for Local Governments Maintaining
Spending for Counties Maintaining
Spending for School Districts Maintaining
Prekindergarten Participation Increasing
Students Eligible for Free/Reduced Price Lunch Increasing
English Language Learners Increasing
Students Receiving Special Education Services Increasing
Per Student Spending Maintaining
High School Cohort Graduation Rate Increasing
Education Levels of Adults Not Applicable
Education Levels of Adults, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Brain Drain/Gain Maintaining
Plans of High School Graduates Not Applicable
Enrollment in Local Colleges Decreasing
Median Household Income Maintaining
Median Household Income by Household Type Not Applicable
Living Wage Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty Increasing
Working Poor Maintaining
People Receiving Federal Food Assistance Increasing
People Receiving Supplemental Security Income Increasing
Health Status Not Applicable
People Enrolled in Medicaid Managed Care Increasing
People Without Health Insurance Decreasing
Physically Inactive Adults Not Applicable
Adults Who are Overweight or Obese Not Applicable
Students in 7-12 Overweight or Obese Not Applicable
Cancer Incidence Decreasing
Students in K-6 Overweight or Obese Not Applicable
Prevalence of Mental Illness Maintaining
Vacant Housing Units Increasing
Homeownership Rates Decreasing
Cost of Homeownership Maintaining
Cost of Homeownership, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Cost of Rent Increasing
Cost of Rent, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Single-Family Home Sales Increasing
Median Single-Family Home Sale Price Maintaining
Tourism Spending Maintaining
Voter Registration Rate Decreasing
Voter Participation Rate Decreasing
Average Charitable Giving Maintaining
Contributions as a Percentage of Income Maintaining
Households With Internet Access Not Applicable
Arts, Entertainment and Recreation Establishments Maintaining
Toxic Chemical Releases Decreasing
Violent Crimes Maintaining
Property Crimes Decreasing
Incarceration Rates Maintaining
Drug Abuse Offenses Increasing
Drug Abuse Arrests Increasing
Protection from Domestic Abuse Maintaining
Average Travel Time to Work Increasing
Crashes Involving Alcohol Decreasing
Households Without Vehicles Decreasing