Dallas Philanthropy: Whose ZIP Giveth the Most?

Screenshot from Chronicle of Philanthropy's map of charitable giving. A darker color means more was given to charity.
Screenshot from Chronicle of Philanthropy's map of charitable giving. A darker color means more money donated.

The Chronicle of Philanthropy has a nifty interactive map of the United States that allows you to determine just how giving you and your friends and neighbors have been. (Brad Pearson over at Park Cities People examined how well the Park Cities fared). You can look at the totals by state, by metropolitan area, by county, by town, or by ZIP.

The data are drawn from exact dollar figures claimed on tax returns and released by the IRS.  (People who don’t give enough to bother itemizing these deductions see their charity under-represented?) The latest information that’s available is from 2008, so that’s what they used.

I spent a little time clicking around the maps and stats and was struck by one noticeable local shift. Above you see a screenshot of a map that represents total contributions by ZIP, with the darker the blue meaning the more that was given. The  largest block of ZIPs with the darkest color is just to the north of downtown Dallas (75201). 75205 (Highland Park), for instance, gave $130.2 million

Now look at the map below, which represents percentage of income given. Suddenly the darkest colors are directly south of downtown, and North Dallas looks lighter.  75205 is still decent, having given 6.4% of its income. But then click on 75216, and you find that they’ve given 17.8%  The median discretionary income in 75216 is $33,860.  In 75205, it’s $409,050.

What was that Bible story about the widow’s offering?

Compared to the map above, North Dallas has gone pale.
Compared to the map above, North Dallas has gone pale.


  • lm

    Making generalizations about Highland Park and University Park is difficult using zip codes. 75205 encompasses one half of University Park from Lovers to Mockingbird, and also a small part of Dallas, in addition to the town of HP. 75225 is split evenly between Preston Hollow and University Park from Northwest Highway to Lovers.

  • Ed

    I am very curious to see some explanations of the South Dallas numbers. That percentage is shockingly high. Is tithing common in the area?

  • scotch

    Of course, this map doesn’t take into account the amounts also paid in income taxes–most of which are forced “charity.” The percentages and relative differences change starkly if one examines income taxes paid plus charitable giving.

  • PeterK

    what is the total dollars donated when you do the comparison?
    well if you go to the website you’ll see that for 75216 that the total contribution was $3.1 million with a median contribution of $6K
    now for 75205 you have total contributions of $130 million and a median contribution of $26K
    they also ranked 49 out of 28725
    75216 ranked 28026 out of 28725

    and if you really start to dig into the details you’ll find that in 75216 there were 67 returns for income between 100k and 199K while there were 445 returns for 50K to 99k
    now 75205 shows 2,600+ returns for income 200k and up with the average contribution at 46k+

  • Eric F.

    Perhaps we should name one of the Calatravesties ‘75216’, or the next deck park over I-30 (don’t hold your breath!) could be named after a 12 year old in 75216. And just imagine if 75205 all tithed.

  • RossG

    75216 was VERY generous when it comes to % of income (17.8%). 75205, not so much (6.4%). So the people who can afford it the most are a bit stingier than the moderate to upper incomes.