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Report: Albany Metro area leads the state in charitable giving

Maj. Kelly English, with the Salvation Army, says the spirit of giving and volunteerism in Albany is the greatest he’s seen in any of the states he’s served. A recent report by the Chronicle of Philanthropy states that the Albany community is the eighth largest charitable giver nationally, in proportion to discretionary income.

Maj. Kelly English, with the Salvation Army, says the spirit of giving and volunteerism in Albany is the greatest he’s seen in any of the states he’s served. A recent report by the Chronicle of Philanthropy states that the Albany community is the eighth largest charitable giver nationally, in proportion to discretionary income.

ALBANY, Ga. — Perhaps it’s because so many here need help, or maybe it derives from the area’s wide-spread religious faith. Whatever the reason, people in Albany are ready to — and do — give.

According to a recent edition of Chronicle of Philanthropy, a guide for nonprofit organizations, fund raisers, grant makers and others involved in the philanthropic enterprise, metro Albany has been found to be the most generous community in Georgia when it comes to charitable giving. In fact, only seven cities in the nation were seen to be giving more than Albany’s median 8.4 percent of discretionary income.

“I’m really not surprised,” said Bob Hutchinson, director of operations for the Albany Boys and Girls Clubs. “Like most nonprofits, we’d like to be doing better, but most folks who are able to give are giving. We depend on the community for help and we’re grateful they’re coming through for us.”

Hutchinson said that money from corporations and the federal government were down, as well as “pass-through” money — funds from the national office. There is apprehension, too, regarding the looming “fiscal cliff” crisis in Washington, which has nonprofits awaiting inevitable cuts and the effects that would follow sequestration.

“Things will probably get worse before they get better,” Hutchinson said, “but individual giving is still pretty good.”

The special report, “How America Gives,” was released in August and showed the region of Southern states outranking the three other U.S. regions with 5.2 percent of discretionary income donated. In comparison, the Northeast, Midwest and West gave 4-4.5 percent. However, when religious giving is taken from the picture, Southerners drop to the bottom with 0.9 percent versus the best showing of 1.4 percent in the Northeast.

Maj. Kelly English has served throughout the South with the Salvation Army, he said, coming here in June from Chattanooga. He’s never seen the likes of the generosity here.

“It’s the best I’ve seen anywhere,” English said, “especially for volunteering. When you volunteer your time and effort, it’s as good as giving money.”

According to English, donations dropped off for a while, but as Christmas nears they’re picking up again.

The Chronicle of Philanthropy website, www.philanthropy.com, broke the giving down by a number of factors, including total income of the givers and even by political leaning of individual states. Overall, “red” — Republican-leaning — states gave more. In fact, Utah led the pack, followed by seven mostly Southern states, before the red streak ended. All but one of 12 lowest-giving states were “blue,” or Democratic-leaning.

While the study found America’s richest to give more in absolute amounts, it was not the case as to percentage of their incomes. According to the Chronicle, of the top 1,000 ZIP codes that give the biggest share of income, only nine are among the nation’s 1,000 richest ZIP codes. In city after city, the low-income residents out-gave the rich. When large numbers of rich people live in one neighborhood, the giving dropped even lower, the study found.

According to Chronicle of Philanthropy sources, the report is based on exact dollar amounts released by the Internal Revenue Service showing charitable deductions claimed by American taxpayers in 2008. Only those reporting incomes of $50,000 or more were considered in the study. To determine individual “discretionary incomes,” certain expenditures, including median housing costs for the areas considered, tuition and fees, student loan interests and others were deducted from the taxpayers’ “adjusted gross incomes.”

Comments

Sherwood_Eagle_Alum 1 year, 10 months ago

Before this article can be hijacked, let me say what wonderful news this is!

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VSU 1 year, 10 months ago

Wonderful but surprising news considering so many people holding their hands out for something free., but then again there are givers and there are takers. It's good to see Albany is number one at something for a change besides crime, poverty, welfare and worst city to live in.

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Sister_Ruby 1 year, 10 months ago

The givers are generous givers. "The Lord loves a cheerful giver". God Said It!

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Ihope4albany 1 year, 10 months ago

Perhaps this report can serve as a spark to get Albany, GA to lead the way in seriously discussing how to address the longstanding issues of inequity in the former slave belt of the nation! Way to go Albany MSA!

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LoneCycler 1 year, 10 months ago

“When religious giving is taken from the picture, Southerners drop to the bottom with 0.9 percent versus the best showing of 1.4 percent in the Northeast.” What do they mean by “religious” giving? Don’t tell me Sister is crowing about donations from Sherwood’s movie income!

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Sister_Ruby 1 year, 10 months ago

No, they keep most of that to spend it on themselves. And it's none of our business how much of it there is even though it's 100% tax free income since it's a "ministry".

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FryarTuk 1 year, 10 months ago

And this is surprising? Albany is a mendicant city. The feeding and clothing missions should be moved out of the city limits. A major one is placed just across from a school so all the kids learn from role models. How nice. After they hand out all of the plastic bags, styro containers and paper products, the containers are littered all over Jefferson, Monroe, Madison and Third Street toward the Army's post. I contribute not one red cent to these bum feeding programs and believe in the furthrest reaches of my consciousness that they do nothing short of mutilating and destroying the natural instincts to succeed, achieve and prevail. We paint these horrible programs with a Christian hue so as to assuage our guilt as a successful society. BAH HUMBUG!

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ittybittyme 1 year, 10 months ago

Hey Fryar...it is third avenue...we don't hand out stuff on my street, third avenue...not third street.....get your facts straight...and DO NOT LUMP MY NEIGHBORHOOD(PALMYRA HEIGHTS) into this siutation....

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FryarTuk 1 year, 10 months ago

My apologies. You are correct it is Avenue not Street.

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Tonto 1 year, 10 months ago

Well, Sherwood, it sure didn't take long did it. if some folks would ever meet these needy individuals they may find it is just an unfortunate relfection of themselves staring back. I suppose Sister and Fryar find fault with Toys for Tots, food drives and free vaccinations for children. Great pride in Albany's giving spirit. Stand outside one of the stores and "Ring the Bell"; you will be humbled to see it is those who have very little who are throwing the dollar bill or the 3 quarters into the pot to go to those who have none.

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FryarTuk 1 year, 10 months ago

Only thing I wouldn't "find fault with" on your list is "free vaccinations" and you might add a free education, free fire protection, free police protection, free roads, free parks, free lighted streets, free healthcare (for children) and the list goes on and on. So don't beat your chest and bray too loudly while you fulminate self-righteously, the tots will lose the toys by the 26th and the turkey won't last the day and the carols will have surrendered to the only poignant verse "Here comes Santa Claus (next year)."

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Tonto 1 year, 10 months ago

Fulminate...wow, cool word; not in context but what the heck. Don't remember doing any chest beating or braying, but I guess disagreeing with you amounts to that in your mind. Not worth the effort to argue with a bitter mind. .. you have a nice day now, ya' hear.

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Ihope4albany 1 year, 10 months ago

Where's the street committee on addressing the root causes of the poverty and not the symptoms. Talk is a powerful thing, but action is greater.

Let's propose a serious meeting to seriously address the serious long-term issues that stem from the legacy of stolen labor obtained through demoralizing, dehumanizing, and devastating the collective spirit, soul, and future of Africans and African Americans in our nation, especially in Albany and the rest of the Slave or Bible belt.

There is a connection here. Religion was used to justify slavery. However, religion has not done its job in repairing the damage that was done. Charity is not the answer, only a temporary fix.

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Sister_Ruby 1 year, 10 months ago

hope......go out there and count how many single parent homes there are with one mamma and God knows how many kids from how many daddies who are all AWOL since the day after they got low and you will begin to understand "THE OVERWHELMING NUMBER ONE root cause of the problem"

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FryarTuk 1 year, 10 months ago

Tonto, " Not worth the effort to argue. . . " well then don't.

Tonto, "Fulminate...wow, cool word; not in context but what the heck . . ."

Fulminate "Intransitive verb to send forth censures or invective"

Tonto: " . . .it sure didn't take long did it. if some folks would ever meet these needy individuals they may find it is just an unfortunate relfection of themselves staring back. I suppose Sister and Fryar find fault . . ."

Tonto: " . . .argue with a bitter mind."

Fulminate "Transitive verb to utter or send out with denunciation"

Pretty darned contextual if you understand what you have written.

you have a nice day now, ya' hear.

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VSU 1 year, 10 months ago

Nothing wrong with charity at all, but the big question is, do the people that receive this charity receive it because they really need it, or do they receive it because they are simply looking for something free? Like the food line for example, you see a few 300-400 pound people in the lines. They couldn't have missed too many meals.

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FryarTuk 1 year, 10 months ago

First rule of nature - don't feed the animals so they remain independent and do not forget how to find their food. Moreso with human beings. Feeding them keeps them in bondage. Don't be a facilitator. Cut off the money for the bottom feeders and the giant multinational corporations. Support capitalism, self reliance, self-esteem and achievement.

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