Report Says Philadelphia Philanthropy is Faltering

Among big cities, Philly had second-biggest drop in charitable giving.

Among the nation’s 50 biggest cities, Philadelphia had the second-biggest drop in charitable giving from 2006 to 2012, according to a new report from the Chronicle of Philanthropy. 

Giving here dropped by 10.3 percent during the time period, the Chronicle reported — second only to the Buffalo-Niagara Falls area, which dipped 10.6 percent.

In fact, the mid-Atlantic region in particular seemed to get stingier during the period: Delaware and New Jersey were among the Top 5 states that saw the biggest declines in giving during the period, with dips of 15.2 and 13 percent, respectively.

The Chronicle made its determination by analyzing IRS data.

Of course, Philadelphia wasn’t alone in seeing a falloff during the era that encompassed the Great Recession: 36 of those top 50 cities saw a decline in giving during that time period.

Some of the reduced giving might have resulted in shifting priorities. The New York Times adds: “The share of income donated fell by more than 10 percent in Philadelphia and in Buffalo, but the drop did not necessarily spell disaster for all charities in those cities. Philabundance, a hunger relief organization in Philadelphia, said it had experienced an increase in giving in recent years. Lindsay Hughes, a public relations manager for the agency, said hunger had been a prominent topic in the news over the last few years because of such issues as a decline in government food assistance.”