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Wednesday, December 26, 2012 - 12:30pm

Albany Among Nation's Top Givers

Albany is among the nation’s most giving cities, ranking eighth in charitable donations by the Chronicle of Philanthropy.

The newspaper’s analysis looked at giving as a percentage of income left over after paying for housing, food and other essential expenses. Albany’s median giver donates 8.4 percent of their discretionary to charity. Macon (7.7 percent) and Hinesville (7.6 percent) also made the chronicle’s top 20. Columbus (7.3 percent) and Augusta (7.2 percent) were right behind.

The report indicates people in Albany and across Georgia are giving within their means, said Karen Beavor, president and CEO of the Georgia Center for Nonprofits.

“These are really positive results,” she said. “Albany should be proud of that, because no matter how you slice it and dice it, whether it goes to religious or nonreligious [nonprofits], they’re still way up there. That’s saying something about that community.”

Living in the Bible Belt means giving is a regular part of many Georgians’ lives, Beavor said.

“You know, the call to tithe, the consistent ‘ask,’ it’s just part of our culture to give and to support, particularly non-secular causes,” Beavor said.

Beavor said giving is likely higher than the analysis shows. It takes into account only donations from people who itemize those on federal tax returns, and most Americans don’t do that.

People in all of Georgia’s metropolitan areas gave 5.9 percent or more of discretionary income to charity.

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