News and analysis
January 31, 2013

Baltimore vs. San Francisco: Who’s Most Generous?

Heinz Kluetmeier/Getty Images

Running back Ray Rice of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates with fans after the team's January 20 win over the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game.

Football fans will have to wait until Sunday to see whether the Baltimore Ravens or San Francisco 49ers will emerge as Super Bowl champions. But Baltimore’s residents can already claim victory over their Bay Area rivals in one important measure: generosity.

People in the Baltimore metropolitan area claimed a median charitable contribution of $2,683 in 2008, according to The Chronicle’s analysis of federal tax data. Based on that figure, residents in the Charm City gave roughly 4.8 percent of their discretionary income to charity that year, the most recent year that figures are available from the Internal Revenue Service.

By comparison, residents in San Francisco claimed a median contribution of $2,180—which translates to about 3.9 percent of their discretionary income.

The Real Winner: Atlanta

Baltimore, however, is not the most generous NFL city. That distinction goes to Atlanta, home of the Falcons, where residents gave 5.9 percent of their income to charity.

Boston, home of the New England Patriots, ranked last among NFL cities on The Chronicle’s list. Residents there gave at a rate of just 2.8 percent of income.

And while people in the Ravens’ hometown give at a higher rate than fans of the 49ers, a look at the tax records of the teams’ charitable foundations shows a different story. The 49ers Foundation, the team’s official charity, awarded $2.4-million in grants in 2011. The Ravens ACT Foundation distributed $317,000.

Dig deeper: Learn more about giving in your neighborhood, hometown, city, or state by going to How America Gives, a free interactive project produced by The Chronicle.

Send an e-mail to Emily Gipple.