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Harrison Residents Donated $83.7 Million In 2008

HARRISON, N.Y. – Harrison is in the top 5 percent nationally when it comes to charitable giving, according to a study conducted by The Chronicle of Philanthropy and released last week.

The Sound Shore town ranked at 169 of 11,522 municipalities nationwide, with contributions totaling $83.7 million. Shannon Cobb, senior vice president for marketing and communications at United Way of Westchester and Putnam, lauded the giving of Harrison residents.

“Harrison donors have been instrumental in creating opportunities for a better life for people in the Sound Shore area,” Cobb said. “Our volunteers and donors helped raise over $145,000 in individual giving in the Harrison area last year. These funds are raised locally to address local community needs in education, financial stability and health – the building blocks for a good quality of life.”

Data for the study were collected through people’s 2008 claims of charitable deductions with the Internal Revenue Service. The study included only on those with incomes of $50,000 or more.

The median contribution by Harrison taxpayers was $4,793. However, when it came to percentage of income given, Harrison gave 4.5 percent, which ranked 4,518 out of the 11,522 municipalities.

Across the country, the study showed that “while those who earn more give away more total dollars, they give a smaller percentage of their income than middle-income Americans,” said Emily Gipple, a database reporter from The Chronicle of Philanthropy.

That also proved true in Harrison, where those making $50,000 to $99,999 gave 12.4 percent of their income, those making $100,000 to $199,999 gave 4.3 percent, and those making $200,000 and more gave 4.8 percent.

When it came to Westchester County, the study found it was ranked 12th out of 3,115 counties throughout the country, with contributions totaling $1.2 billion. New York residents donated $11.3 billion to charity, which placed the state second, with an average contribution of $2,266.

Further results of the study, broken down by municipality and state, can be found on The Chronicle’s interactive map.

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