Region’s residents donate less than national average

By June 3, 2011

Residents in the four-county greater Sacramento region, give less to charitable organizations than the national average, according to a study commissioned by the Sacramento Region Community Foundation and the Nonprofit Resource Center.

While 67 percent of national households give to charity, just 62  percent of households in the Sacramento region — El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento and Yolo counties — do so, the study finds. The average annual contribution amount per donor household in the Sacramento region is $1,990 compared to the national average of $2,355, a news release said.

Ninety-one percent of households surveyed believe it is important to give locally, however, only 63 percent of donations made went to local organizations.

“This information will be helpful for nonprofits locally,” said Danielle Thomas, executive director of YoloArts and member of the Generosity Project’s marketing committee, in the news release. “Understanding the value of giving locally and inspiring increased giving is vital to our local economy.”

Thomas also acknowledged the support of Yolo County Supervisor Matt Rexroad in the initial information gathering phase of the study in Yolo County.

The study also found the following about charitable giving by residents of the Sacramento region:

* Those under age 40, as well as those who earned bachelor’s degrees or live in households earning less than $50,000 per year all displayed giving rates notably lower than the national average.

* Only two of the measured groups demonstrated giving rates higher than the nation, including those with a household income of more than $100,000 and those age 40 to 64.

* Four motivation factors were more important to Sacramento region households than they were for residents in other areas: tax benefits, being asked to give by an employer, being asked to give by a friend or associate, and directly helping.

* Close to two-thirds of every dollar donated by Sacramento-area households flows to religious organizations, groups providing for basic needs, or agencies that fall into both categories.

* The three most popular methods of giving among Sacramento-area households was through religious organizations, donating by mail requests and street collections.

The ultimate goal of the Generosity Project is to spark a catalyst that, during the next three to five years, will mark a historic expansion in the base of regional residents who clearly identify charitable giving as fulfilling an essential and personal responsibility to their community’s well-being, the news release said.

The project’s objectives include enhancing the total amount of charitable giving by more fully engaging donors; building the donor base and bringing non-donors and new population groups into the mix; and keeping more of the donations from Sacramento region households within the local nonprofit community.

The data from the project will be made available to nonprofits in the region, and the complete report is available on the Sacramento Region Community Foundation’s website, www.sacregcf.org. 
For more information, call YoloArts at (530) 406-4844

Enterprise staff

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