How Generous are Warminster Residents?
A recently released study of charitable donations shows that Warminster taxpayers donated more than $16 million in 2008.
As a whole, Warminster residents gave up 3.6 percent of their discretionary income in 2008, according to a new study released by the Chronicle of Philanthropy.
Based on tax records from the IRS for 2008 – the most recent year for which such data are available – Warminster residents in the 18974 zip code gave a median contribution of $2,001 to charity on an income of $55,655.
By comparison, the median contribution was 3.4 percent in in Bucks County, 3.9 percent in Pennsylvania and 4.7 percent for the entire United States.
The data comes from a special report, “How America Gives,” that examines charitable giving by zip code and by income. The study is based on the exact dollar amount of charitable deductions made by American taxpayers on their tax returns.
Out of 28,725 zip codes measured, Warminster ranks 2,134.
To put that in perspective, the most generous people come from Utah. Utah residents contributed 10.6 percent of their income to charity—a median of $5,255 per taxpayer, in 2008.
The trick to getting people to open up their wallets, says Warminster Rotary President Greg Hucklebridge, is to entice propsective donors with something they want.
"We just had a raffle with a pair of Eagles season tickets," said Hucklebridge. "For $20, somebody would have a 1 in 500 chance to win the tickets. That's a good deal for just $20, and we managed to raise a profit of more than $7,000."
The Warminster Rotary is just one chapter in one of the largest philanthropic organizations in the world. Members work all year long raising money for numerous causes and benefits. Each Rotary member needs to pay annual dues in order to remain in the organization, but the revenue generated from those payments are directed toward Rotary's internal expenses. Any charitable contributions made by the club is funded primarily by public donations.
The Rotary also holds an annual charity ball that is open to the public. In the past, the proceeds from the event benefited a Warminster family in need. This year, Hucklebridge said, the group will instead collaborate with Philabundance, Archbishop Wood and local grocers to help fight hunger in the area.
"This will benefit food pantries in our own community and the Bucks County area," said Hucklebridge. "I don't want people to think their money will be spread out across the Philadelphia region."
Warminster Rotary also awards scholarships, holds art auctions and works with the larger organization to fund donation drives to fight polio and aid with disaster relief. Additionally, when club presidents begin their one-year term, they take on a personal project that improves the community.
Hucklebridge, who began his term in July, plans to make additions to Safetytown, a kid-friendly feature at Warminster Community Park. Originally proposed by past Rotary President Claudia Quinn in 2009, Safetytown opened last summer and was an instant hit.
"We're going to raise money to get some shade over the area and a place for parents to sit and relax while the kids have fun," said Hucklebridge.
Ranking: 2,134 of 28,725
Total contributions: $16.5 million
Median contribution: $2,001
Median disc. Income: $55,655
Percent given: 3.6%
Ranking: 6,643 of 28,725
Total contributions: $5.4 million
Median contribution: $2,226
Median disc. Income: $77,051
Percent given: 2.9%
Ranking: 3,937 of 28,725
Total contributions: $10.3 million
Median contribution: $2,127
Median disc. Income: $66,026
Percent given: 3.2%