Number three is a great place to be, especially when it comes to generosity. In a recent report published by The Chronicle of Philanthropy, Birmingham ranks third among the top-50 metropolitan areas and Alabama third among the 50 states on this indication of how much people give to charity.
The report, called How America Gives, uses 2008 IRS data on charitable deductions claimed by American taxpayers and breaks down the numbers by state, metro area, county, even zip code. The current report has been refined to equalize the cost of living and other variables.
Our state and our local community continue to stand out when you look at the percentage people give to charity, based on income. The percentage is the same for people in the Birmingham metro area and across the state: 7.1 percent, compared to 4.7 percent for the United States as a whole.
We see evidence of this generosity all around us, including the continued success of the annual campaign by United Way of Central Alabama and the gifts of time and money in the wake of 2011 tornadoes. We see it at the Community Foundation, too, which ranks consistently in the top 100 among some 700 community foundations for the amount of gifts.
This generosity should inspire all of us to think about how we can do even more to take on the critical issues that make our community a place where everyone can thrive. Contact Erin Stephenson if you want to explore how you can use your charitable dollars even more effectively in partnership with the Community Foundation.