Peninsula residents gave nearly $1 billion in one year alone, according to new statistics released by the Chronicle of Philanthropy.
The Bay Area and the Los Angeles area are unsurprisingly two major philanthropic hot-spots, leading California to take its place as the philanthropy capital of the country.
In San Mateo County, residents gave a median charitable contribution of $2,291, or 4.4 percent of their incomes. In wealthier towns such as Portola Valley and Atherton, over half of residents gave more than $20,000.
While Bay Area communities perform well when it comes to total contributions, when it comes to giving away a large percentage of income, the numbers are smaller.
Out of 3,115 counties surveyed, San Mateo ranks only #2,473 in percentage of income donated to charity - so, while residents give a great deal of money, they give relatively little as an overall percentage of their income.
San Mateo city's ranking is fairly impressive when it comes to total contributions, though - our fair city gave a total of $61.5 million in one year, putting us at #278 out of 11,522 towns measured. However, that only equaled 3.8 percent of San Mateo residents' total incomes.
Though the Bay Area gives more money as a sum of total contributions, residents in Salt Lake City and Memphis give a far greater percentage of their income to charity.
The studies provide new commentary on which leading political party is "more generous." While blue states gave more money as a total sum, residents in Republican states gave a greater percentage of their income.
These numbers have given rise to a constantly recurring debate in the philanthropic world - whether people should be judged on their donations as a total contribution or as a percentage of the money they have. Many say that, on the one hand, giving more money in total to charity can make a larger impact, on the other hand, people who give a higher percentage of their income are likely undertaking a greater sacrifice to do so.
What do you think of the results of this report, when it comes to charitable giving? Should people be judged on the total amount of their charitable donations, or by the percentage of their income given? Tell us in the comments below.
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