For a second year, research conducted by the Chronicle of Philanthropy to measure charitable giving reveals lackluster household giving in Loudoun County. While most of Loudoun’s neighboring counties reported an increase in giving between the study’s release first in 2014 and again in 2017, Loudoun County giving rates have remained flat. The study, “How America Gives,” offers an analysis of the giving patterns of Americans who earn $50,000 or more annually and who itemize charitable deductions on their income-tax returns for 2012 and 2015. Itemized giving of these taxpayers represents nearly 80 percent of all individual charitable contributions and offers the best comparison into giving at local levels and includes giving to places of worship and nonprofits serving education, health, animal welfare, etc. The key measure is the giving ratio: This is the total of a locality’s charitable contributions as a share of its total adjusted gross income. For instance, if itemizing taxpayers in a given area earned on average $100,000 and gave away $3,000, that area’s giving ratio would be 3 percent.
If Loudoun County’s giving were equal to the giving rate of Virginia’s overall giving ratio of 2.9%, it would generate and additional $155,000,000 for charity.
The first study released in 2014, became part of a stable of research and information that informed the Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties’ Faces of Loudoun campaign and supported by the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers. The campaign portrays real people in Loudoun County who have relied on the services of local nonprofits addressing homelessness, aging in place, intellectual and mental disabilities, domestic violence, health, addiction, teen suicide, mental health, hunger insecurity, and employment.
“Our research indicated that many of our local residents don’t understand there is need in Loudoun County,” explains Amy Owen, president of the Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties. After hosting a series of focus groups with a variety of audiences ranging from first responders to business leaders, the responses revealed two key concerns said Owen. “First, participants vocalized their perception of limited or no need in Loudoun. And, second, they exhibited a startling lack of awareness of existing nonprofits providing core safety net services in the community.”
Launched in March 2017, the Faces of Loudoun campaign is based on the adage that “people give to people,” explained Owen. “If we can help each other see the people their local gift helps, we can inspire more giving right here at home.” In 2018, the campaign has begun featuring some of the key nonprofit staff and leaders running Loudoun’s core safety net nonprofits, along with some key statistics of need in the community.
Learn more about the Faces of Loudoun community service campaign and stories portrayed at www.FacesofLoudoun.org.
The Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier County is dedicated to fostering a community of grantmakers, promoting strategic local leadership, and investing in partnerships for the benefit of the community of Loudoun and Northern Fauquier. Its core mission is to build local everlasting endowment based on each donor’s personal charitable interests to generate permanent grant funding into the community. More information about the Community Foundation can be found at www.CommunityFounationLF.org or by calling (703) 779-3505.
Percent of Income Given
Percent of Income Given
|Prince William County||2.5%||$3,621||2.5%||$3,357|
Source: Chronicle of Philanthropy, “How America Gives: Leaders, Laggards, and Giving Opportunities”