Northampton Ranks 270th Most Charitable County in U.S.

Despite coming in below the national average for percent of income given, Northampton County households recorded $97.5 million in contributions in 2008, according to The Chronicle of Philanthropy.

People who live in Northampton County donated $97.5 million to charity in 2008, making it the 270th most charitable county in the country, according to a new report from The Chronicle of Philanthropy.

Not too shabby, considering there are 3,115 counties in the United States. 

This data is part of a comprehensive report, “How America Gives,” recently released by the Chronicle. The publication broke down communities by zip code and looked at the contributions of households that made more than $50,000 a year. Discretionary income is counted as what taxpayers had left after they paid taxes and paid for food, housing and other essentials. 

Northampton County’s median discretionary income was $54,871, according to the Chronicle’s interactive report. 

But as a measure of how much residents gave as a percentage of their income compared to the rest of the U.S., our community ranks a paltry 2,679 out of 3,115.

In 2008, the typical Northampton County resident gave an average of 3.1 percent -- Pennsylvania’s average is 3.9 percent -- of his or her income to charity, with the median amount of contributions per household at $1,695.

Nationally, the average American household gives 4.7 percent of its median discretionary income of $54,783. The median contribution per American household was $2,564 in 2008.

Pennsylvania as a whole gave $4.7 billion to charity that year, which meant it ranked seventh out of 50 states and Washington, D.C. But Pennsylvanians had a median contribution of $2,181 out of discretionary income of $55,661, which put it at 40th out of 51.

So, you might wonder, how did your community within Northampton County contribute? Because, let's face it -- it takes a village to come up with $97.5 million.

Here is a sampling from the five Patches in Northampton County, including Nazareth, Palmer-Forks, Easton, Bethlehem and Hellertown-Lower Saucon. They have been listed by "Total Contributions Rank:"

: 18017 Total Contributions $17.6 million Percent of Income Given 3.9 percent Total Contributions Rank 1,963 of 28,725


/ Bethlehem (portions): 18015 Total Contributions $12.4 million Percent of Income Given 3.5 percent Total Contributions Rank 3,181 of 28,725


/ Lower Nazareth Twp. (portion): 18045 Total Contributions $12 million Percent of Income Given 3.1 percent Total Contributions Rank 3,321 of 28,725


: 18064 Total Contributions $9.6 million Percent of Income Given 3 percent Total Contributions Rank 4,223 of 28,725


Bethlehem: 18018 Total Contributions $8 million Percent of Income Given 3.8 percent Total Contributions Rank 4,978 of 28,725


: 18042 Total Contributions $7 million Percent of Income Given 3.2 percent Total Contributions Rank 5,552 of 28,725


Forks Township: 18040 Total Contributions $6.7 million Percent of Income Given 2.7 percent Total Contributions Rank 5,678 of 28,725


Hellertown / Lower Saucon Twp. (portion): 18055 Total Contributions $4.5 million Percent of Income Given 2.9 percent Total Contributions Rank 7,377 of 28,725


Zip code not listed? To further explore the information in "How America Gives," visit philanthropy.com.

Data can be sorted by state, metro area, county, town and zip code, as well as contributions by household, discretionary income by household and percentage of income given by household.


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