Charitable Contributions as a Percent of Income

Charitable Contributions as a Percent of Income

What does this measure?

Contributions to charitable organizations, measured as a percentage of income.

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 and capacity to invest in programs and organizations serving the community. Looking at the level of giving as a percentage of income provides insight as to residents' generosity and capacity for further giving.

How is our county performing?

In 2018, Berks County residents contributed over $129 million to charity, or 1% of their income. This rate was similar to Pennsylvania and slightly less than the nation, at 1.7%.

Among surrounding counties, Lebanon and Lehigh residents contributed a percentage of their income that was similar to Berks. Chester residents gave at a slightly higher rate at 1.4% while the rates were even higher in Lancaster and Montgomery (both at 1.7%). The charitable giving rate was lower in Schuylkill, at 0.4% of income.

Notes about the data

Figures are in constant 2019 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. Due to the change in tax laws, standard deductions nearly doubled for all filers for 2018 and therefore comparisons to prior years are not comparable.

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

Charitable Contributions as a Percent of Income
United States2.1%2.1%2.1%2.1%2.2%2.3%2.3%1.7%
Berks County1.4%1.5%1.6%1.7%1.5%1.6%1.6%1.0%
Berks County Regions
Reading city
Berks County Peers
Chester County1.9%2.0%2.0%1.9%2.0%2.0%2.2%1.4%
Lancaster County2.6%2.6%2.6%2.6%2.6%2.7%2.7%1.7%
Lebanon County1.9%1.9%1.9%1.9%2.0%1.9%1.9%1.1%
Lehigh County1.5%1.6%1.5%1.6%1.5%1.6%1.5%0.9%
Montgomery County2.4%2.5%2.4%2.5%2.3%2.7%2.4%1.7%
Schuylkill County0.9%0.9%0.8%0.8%0.8%0.8%0.8%0.4%

Source: Internal Revenue Service
Notes: Figures are in constant 2019 dollars.

Total Charitable Giving
United States$197,255,139,039$214,157,329,433$211,866,869,491$222,921,393,085$234,317,277,840$245,523,035,050$261,259,469,918$196,218,999,072
Berks County$177,445,659$186,555,427$184,263,951$213,288,323$192,130,253$196,125,808$210,319,393$129,826,560
Berks County Regions
Reading city
Berks County Peers
Chester County$502,298,794$573,195,523$533,429,669$558,144,925$596,577,584$599,830,524$683,059,558$436,705,165
Lancaster County$383,010,986$408,476,179$399,383,606$424,116,578$453,188,024$461,998,138$475,761,698$312,245,115
Lebanon County$67,927,733$69,293,098$70,997,969$72,432,694$78,008,623$77,866,590$80,065,948$45,358,254
Lehigh County$167,112,042$174,225,445$169,694,300$178,418,642$174,020,896$188,478,691$189,933,167$111,979,939
Montgomery County$999,451,239$1,153,662,318$1,005,495,819$1,133,268,422$1,125,036,633$1,256,129,771$1,165,692,456$849,324,672
Schuylkill County$29,599,470$31,452,423$28,116,486$28,392,294$28,382,363$30,079,299$29,937,902$13,219,267

Source: Internal Revenue Service
Notes: Figures are in constant 2019 dollars.

Adults Who are Overweight or Obese Not Applicable
Students in K-6 Overweight or Obese Not Applicable
Students in 7-12 Overweight or Obese Not Applicable
Physically Inactive Adults Not Applicable
Students Eligible for Free/Reduced Price Lunch Increasing
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 Maintaining
Language Diversity Increasing
Unemployment Rate Increasing
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
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
Cancer Incidence Decreasing
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