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SC Residents Among the Most Generous in U.S.

According to an exhaustive survey by the Chronicle of Philanthropy, San Clemente residents rank in the top 400 of 11,522 cities in giving to charity.

Generous San Clemente residents shelled out $56.2 million to charities of all kinds in 2008, the most recent year tax records are available.

This giving puts the Spanish Village by the Sea ahead of more than 11,000 other cities surveyed throughout the U.S. by the Chronicle of Philanthropy.

The median contribution given by San Clemente households in 2008,  was $3,236, or 4.4 percent of discretionary income ― even in that turbulent year when the housing bubble burst. Countywide, residents gave 4.0 percent of their total income to charity, according to the survey.

San Clemente is also one of America's richer communities with a median discretionary income of $73,476. The Chronicle came to that number by adjusting for cost of living, taxes, etc.

"The data in this special report, 'How America Gives,' come from a comprehensive study The Chronicle conducted to examine giving data by ZIP code and by income level in every city and town in the United States," the Chronicle states.

A caveat on that $73,476: because of discrepancies in the data for people with income below $50,000, The Chronicle’s study includes only taxpayers who reported incomes of $50,000 or more.

Interestingly, San Clemente residents with the lowest measured income gave proportionally the most, while the richest folks gave the lowest percentage. Households making $50,000 to $100,000 gave 7.7 percent of their incomes to charity; those making $100,000 to $200,000 gave 4.3 percent, and those making $200,000 and up gave only 3.7 percent.

Oracle August 30, 2012 at 08:55 PM
San Clemente ranks 329 nationally, the city in which I grew up and lived until I was 21 is in the low 400s. I have a feeling that San Clemente feels like home to me for several reasons, but that this single cultural measure probably has a lot to do with it...
Rick J. Delanty August 31, 2012 at 02:47 PM
As a former arts educator of 32 years in San Clemente, I had the opportunity to both work with and benefit from the generosity of both businesses and individuals that gave of themselves, their time, and their incomes to support the arts. I noticed that they also supported education, youth sports programs, boys and girls clubs, the homeless, church aid groups to citizens of other countries, small class sizes in public schools, Boy Scout projects, Meals on Wheels, housing for the elderly, neighborhood and beach-cleanups, school site facilities, clean-water projects, ocean safety programs, etc., etc.. I have found that the chief characteristic of a close-knit community is the priority it makes regarding family and giving. It is also one of the chief benefits of living in a place like San Clemente, CA.
Teri Halliday August 31, 2012 at 05:00 PM
As a nine-year resident (a baby compared to most), I have never lived in a place where I felt more comfortable to ask people to support various events, causes and charitable endeavors...because this community truly does support their own is not only a testament to the quality of life, but the quality of the people who live here. As a Boys & Girls Club staff member, we see this generosity day in and day out, helping to support our amazing mission to enable and inspire all young people, especially those who need us most to reach their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens. I am blessed to go to work each day and see this philanthropy in action - with results - and I am grateful for an amazing opportunity to live in this beautiful city surrounded by beautiful, caring and generous people! Thank You San Clemente!

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