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April 09, 2015

Study Finds Philanthropy Strong Among Low-Income Chicagoans

A new report shows giving in the Chicago area exceeds the national average and is strongest among lower-income residents, the president and CEO of the Chicago Community Trust writes in a column for Crain's Chicago Business. The results are important "because the harsh fiscal realities facing our state and city mean that we no longer can rely on government to adequately fund key human services and meet basic human needs," Terry Mazany says. 

The study, commissioned by the trust and conducted by Indiana University's Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, found 49 percent of metro Chicago households did volunteer work in 2013 and a big majority of residents "made contributions to support food, shelter, and basic human necessities," Mr. Mazany notes. Households with an annual income of less than $50,000 donated about 4.4 percent of their income, compared to 3.1 percent for higher earners.

See The Chronicle of Philanthropy's How America Gives special report for a region-by-region breakdown of philanthropy nationwide.