chronicle copyTis the season for charitable giving! And The Chronicle of Philanthropy ( is a smartly-designed, interactive experience that slices and dices data regarding the million+ charities in America. Explore the site to find countless segmented statistics about cause categories, regional giving and individual vs. corporate donations. There are even resources for non-profits to help them continue to grow including reports, job listings, creative ideas and case studies.

We were eager to see how FLIRT’s hometown of Chicago ranked among other American metropolitan cities— we certainly thought we’d be in the top 10! We were shocked that Chicago ranked at  227 (of 336) with an average contribution of 4.2% of our incomes. Sadly, one historic charity right in our backyard, the Jane Addams Hull House Association, is struggling. The organization’s board said the charity could not maintain operations in an economic climate that has raised demand for its programs while simultaneously putting a damper on donations. We wouldn’t be surprised if most charities are feeling the same struggle.

Fast Facts from The Chronicle of Philanthropy

  • Combined, American charities have $1,376,404,570,498 in total revenue and $2,480,153,335,727 in total assets—yes that’s trillions!
  • Salt Lake City ranked number one in percentage of donated income with Memphis, Birmingham, Nashville and Atlanta not too far behind.
  • Zip code 1021 in Manhattan’s Upper East Side contributed more money than any other zip code in the country: $478 million.
  • Nearly one in every eight dollars given to charity comes from California. Its residents have donated more than $17.2 billion.
  • High-income earners who live near or in economically diverse areas donate higher amounts.  So it appears that seeing this disparity on a daily basis has an emotional effect.
  • Lower income earners give more charitable dollars to their local church.  Perhaps they trust the church and believe theyknow where their donation is going.


America the Charitable!

Though we’re more inspired to give during the holiday season, we challenge ourselves at FLIRT to give continually throughout the year. And even though it may be easiest to write a check, sometimes giving time or professional expertise is more rewarding—for us AND the non-profit. FLIRT’s favorite charities to support are Chicago-based and all are making a meaningful impact every day in their respective areas of interest:

What about you? What can you do to make a difference? Choose a charity to support in 2013. Give time and energy to them. Every hour and every dollar matters more than you know. And, most importantly, remember to give of yourself to family and friends, too. Happy Holidays from the entire FLIRT family!


All statistics and featured image gathered from The Chronicle of Philanthropy, @philanthropy.