San Antonio’s generosity, ZIP code by ZIP code

Janie Ray passes around the offering tray during the Primera Iglesia Cristiana New Year’s Eve service on the West Side. Lynda Gonzalez | Folo Media

Editor’s Note: The data below has been updated so that it no longer includes ZIP codes that barely enter Bexar County’s borders. The article has been corrected to reflect the change.

Just before the new year, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was asked why he prioritizes charity work. His answer was one he’s given before.

“We’re rich as hell, and we don’t need it all, and other people need it,” Popovich told ESPN. “Then, you’re an ass if you don’t give it. Pretty simple.”

Was Coach Pop on to something? If so, how is it going in his own backyard of Bexar County? After digging through thousands of lines of tax data from 2015, we found that wealthy people aren’t giving more than people of lesser means. That is consistent with a national trend.

Here’s a map that shows the spread of generosity in San Antonio and surrounding territories:

SCROLL DOWN TO VIEW THIS DATA IN SPREADSHEET FORM

Keep in mind, we can’t measure what you drop in the Salvation Army buckets, and we can’t measure the meals you give to your neighbors. What this map shows is the giving ration for each ZIP code, meaning the percentage of money someone who itemized their taxes gave to charity compared to their gross itemizable income.

The range between the most and least generous giving rates is only about 4 percent, so it’s not like one ZIP code is giving substantially more or less than the rest. But many of the most affluent ZIP codes hover around the median rate, 3.64 percent. A report in the Chronicle of Philanthropy, an independent news organization based in Washington, D.C., criticized affluent areas for not exceeding the average donation rate. They have more resources and more spendable income, but are only just keeping pace with their lower-income brethren.

The most generous ZIP code, 78220, the far East Side, gave 6.53 percent of their income to charity, while the least generous, 78152, the St. Hedwig area, gave 2.53 percent. Neither is the richest or the poorest, nor the most or least populated. Nothing in the rest of the data explains why they are the most and least generous areas respectively.

What these ZIP codes do represent is the disparity that exists between ZIP codes that are near-neighbors geographically. The average donor in the far East Side (78220) makes $98,803, while the average donor in St. Hedwig (78152) makes $133,661.

In 78220, the median household income is $30,525, and in 78152, it’s $75,273, according to the 2012 – 2016 American Community.

A few interesting facts

» The residents of Alamo Heights, 78209, donated the most to charity in terms of total dollar amount: $88.7 million. Stone Oak, 78258, gave the second most with $48 million in donations.

» The near West Side, 78207, only donated a total of $120,100, despite having a higher giving ratio of 3.87 percent compared to Stone Oak’s 2.71 percent and Alamo Heights’ 3.37 percent.

» Almost half of the 540 people who reported giving money to charity in the near West Side were in the bottom two tax brackets.

» The average donation amount per person who donated in Alamo Heights is $15,873.88. In Stone Oak, it is $6,597.50. On the West Side, it is $522.17.

» The most generous ZIP code per capita is 78257, the Leon Springs area, where 1,040 people donated $28.86 million — that’s an average of $27,748 per donor.

Trends

» The median household income of a given ZIP code appears to have no influence on the giving ratio of those who donated.

» Donors in poor ZIP codes make less than donors in rich ZIP codes on average, despite the fact that they are all in the top four income brackets.

» The poorer ZIP codes have lower total contribution amounts because there are fewer donors with less money.

» The median income of those who donated is significantly higher than the median income of the ZIP code overall. On average, it was 2.8 times higher, but in some case it was up to six times higher.

» Significantly more people itemize their taxes in wealthier ZIP codes, meaning there are often a higher percentage of people donating in wealthy ZIP codes.

Tax brackets for ZIP code level data, per IRS

1 = $1 under $25,000

2 = $25,000 under $50,000

3 = $50,000 under $75,000

4 = $75,000 under $100,000

5 = $100,000 under $200,000

6 = $200,000 or more

A few interesting facts

» The citizens of Alamo Heights, 78209, donated the most to charity in terms of total dollar amount: $88.7 million. Stone Oak, 78258, gave the second most with $48 million in donations.

» The near West Side, 78207, only donated a total of $120,100, despite having a higher giving ratio of 3.87 percent compared to Stone Oak’s 2.71 percent and Alamo Heights’ 3.37 percent.

» Almost half of the 540 people who reported giving money to charity in the near West Side were in the bottom two tax brackets.

» The average donation amount per person who donated in Alamo Heights is $15,873.88. In Stone Oak, it is $6,597.50. On the West Side, it is $522.17.

» The most generous ZIP code per capita is 78257, the Leon Springs area, where 1,040 people donated $28.86 million — that’s an average of $27,748 per donor.

Trends

» The median household income of a given ZIP code appears to have no influence on the giving ratio of those who donated.

» Donors in poor ZIP codes make less than donors in rich ZIP codes on average, despite the fact that they are all in the top four income brackets.

» The poorer ZIP codes have lower total contribution amounts because there are fewer donors with less money.

» The median income of those who donated is significantly higher than the median income of the ZIP code overall. On average, it was 2.8 times higher, but in some case it was up to six times higher.

» Significantly more people itemize their taxes in wealthier ZIP codes, meaning there are often a higher percentage of people donating in wealthy ZIP codes.

Tax brackets for ZIP code level data, per IRS

1 = $1 under $25,000

2 = $25,000 under $50,000

3 = $50,000 under $75,000

4 = $75,000 under $100,000

5 = $100,000 under $200,000

6 = $200,000 or more

Stone Oak residents, 78258, gave 2.71 percent of their average income of $102,665. The near West Side, 78207, gave 3.86 percent of their income, which on average is $24,766.

Bear in mind, 6 percent — or even 3 percent — of your income when you are just barely getting by is actually a larger portion of your disposable cash than if you are extremely wealthy.

Bexar County's generosity by ZIP code

ZIP codeGiving ratioTotal contribution amountMedian Household IncomeAverage income of itemizersPopulationNumber of all filersNumber of itemizersNumber of donors
780023.83%$922,000$43,428$100,2707,630790240190
780153.25%$24,215,000$117,882$213,06912,5284,5603,5003,120
780232.64%$24,982,000$113,385$167,05029,3517,9005,6704,950
780693.70%$669,000$39,325$100,4506,012600180120
780732.74%$670,000$43,351$97,8648,806870250170
781012.79%$2,951,000$85,100$139,3556,7731,810760600
781083.42%$19,405,000$87,541$112,22434,8008,9705,0604,080
781093.91%$10,041,000$62,718$90,38338,3207,2402,8402,150
781123.47%$822,000$52,031$87,6518,562920270180
781242.94%$1,672,000$62,083$129,0865,8841,130440340
781484.71%$8,284,000$60,088$118,79121,2883,9301,4801,220
781522.53%$709,000$75,273$133,6612,179570210170
781543.43%$18,630,000$75,538$126,92537,4058,6304,2803,530
781633.21%$10,351,000$102,319$175,04210,6562,9401,8401,600
782013.32%$3,902,000$36,330$118,64646,0633,260990780
782022.63%$516,000$24,001$140,16412,339440140110
782034.83%$297,000$28,643$87,78563602407060
782042.96%$2,638,000$35,392$247,46311,7231,020360300
782052.96%$3,793,000$31,090$611,1331,061350210180
782073.86%$1,201,000$24,766$111,01053,0931,620280230
782082.75%$108,000$24,104$130,8334,5182003020
782093.37%$88,735,000$66,082$416,58741,32910,1706,3305,590
782103.57%$3,038,000$34,044$126,89838,7052,620670530
782113.95%$928,000$34,461$75,70334,1661,480310230
782123.08%$23,864,000$41,698$401,31928,4333,8401,9301,670
782133.29%$8,598,000$42,353$147,59842,9324,7901,7701,480
782143.84%$891,000$31,728$85,94826,1191,340270200
782152.74%$924,000$51,761$177,2632,302750190150
782164.06%$22,325,000$43,249$199,85340,1276,3002,7502,350
782173.62%$8,196,000$47,696$140,71233,6354,7101,6101,280
782184.25%$7,662,000$40,170$165,46235,1063,4101,090890
782195.17%$1,149,000$34,752$88,82816,2391,180250200
782206.53%$1,870,000$30,525$98,80316,0921,040290250
782213.41%$2,612,000$36,474$88,98938,2892,900860630
782223.95%$3,318,000$48,724$90,28623,4332,610930710
782233.21%$4,951,000$39,219$92,82853,7205,2701,6601,240
782244.52%$1,861,000$45,445$85,71821,2191,640480370
782253.98%$445,000$30,012$79,88513,983860140100
782262.56%$134,000$27,015$74,6856,0713707030
782274.40%$2,704,000$37,297$83,05948,0793,310740570
782284.01%$4,466,000$38,301$91,30362,8684,6901,220980
782293.48%$5,169,000$37,328$147,13830,8213,3401,010810
782303.22%$38,065,000$58,666$264,13344,4478,7404,4703,880
782315.05%$40,159,000$77,245$523,3048,2582,5001,5201,360
782323.33%$33,122,000$71,069$196,08737,9869,1905,0704,380
782334.04%$8,938,000$56,014$96,19649,0767,1902,3001,830
782345.36%$1,004,000$62,394$124,8065,857610150140
782352.85%$73,000$64,712$64,0257951404030
782365.70%$206,000$70,994$72,2207,2443005040
782375.23%$1,046,000$27,546$74,06637,6151,470270200
782384.06%$3,482,000$45,052$93,26825,2432,900920750
782395.34%$9,750,000$58,581$106,68828,3354,5901,7101,420
782403.32%$13,819,000$50,853$115,16758,2879,9203,6102,750
782423.43%$1,090,000$38,160$73,92533,1021,800430290
782445.08%$6,408,000$62,369$88,17430,6394,1501,4301,160
782453.48%$15,653,000$60,616$91,29168,26511,5704,9303,750
782473.30%$17,317,000$70,621$105,70352,02911,0004,9604,020
782483.46%$25,061,000$100,872$229,54214,2174,3503,1602,840
782494.00%$27,464,000$63,538$142,13254,67610,0804,8304,100
782503.81%$13,647,000$64,823$96,97659,8469,8003,6903,050
782513.50%$15,440,000$65,924$102,42557,4479,8104,3103,510
782522.89%$1,227,000$56,707$83,1439,8331,270510340
782532.93%$23,388,000$91,618$116,96238,94611,4206,8305,470
782543.11%$21,003,000$77,527$106,72352,16311,9906,3205,070
782552.54%$15,737,000$121,098$199,55313,8654,1603,1102,710
782562.57%$7,659,000$73,421$215,9529,7632,1101,3801,220
782574.76%$28,858,000$128,302$505,5145,1571,7901,2001,040
782582.71%$48,030,000$102,665$209,76845,75012,4908,4507,280
782593.15%$20,742,000$91,961$146,80225,6147,0804,4803,820
782602.67%$30,551,000$112,255$182,67228,3238,4906,2605,330
782612.83%$20,996,000$101,003$177,05015,8125,9104,1903,460
782633.83%$1,902,000$68,694$127,4284,7881,000390320
782643.52%$1,186,000$49,675$91,18110,1561,260370270
782663.56%$10,716,000$106,563$206,0106,5332,0801,4601,300

To determine the giving ratio and total contribution amount, we used only the top four income brackets, because it is rare for individuals within the bottom two income brackets to itemize, meaning those who do are not representative of their brackets as a whole, according to Tyler Davis, data manager at the Chronicle of Philanthropy.

Throughout this piece, we reference the median household income, which comes from the 2012-2016 American Community Survey. We use this to give context about different ZIP codes’ economic conditions. The donors whose data is captured here make a significantly higher average income than the rest of their ZIP code, regardless of if they live in a rich or poor area.

darcy@folomedia.org

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