HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. – Residents of Ardsley, Dobbs Ferry and Hastings gave a combined $27 million to charities last year, according to a report by The Chronicle of Philanthropy. Westchester County ranked 12th out of all counties in the U.S., giving $1.2 billion.
To account for different costs of living across the country, the study compared the income to contribution ratio after taxes, housing, food and other necessary expenses were paid. The study found that wealthy Americans give a smaller share of their discretionary income than their middle-class counterparts, who tend to give twice the share, a trend seen in the Rivertowns.
Ardsley ranked 6,202 of 28,725 towns included in the study, and had the lowest percentage of giving compared to income in the Rivertowns, giving $6 million – or 3.5 percent of discretionary income – in charitable contributions. The median contribution for Ardsley residents was $3,115.
Ardsley residents who earned $50,000 to $99,999 gave the highest percentage of their income, giving 12.4 percent, on par with those of the same income level in the rest of the county, who also gave 12.4 percent. Ardsley’s 3.5 percent of overall giving not only fell short compared to surrounding town, but also compared to 4.7 percent nationally, 4.7 percent across the state, and 4.6 percent across Westchester.
Hastings residents were slightly more generous than those in Ardsley, contributing 3.9 percent of discretionary income to charity with a median contribution of $2,626 and overall contribution of $10.5 million. Middle-class Hastings residents gave almost 10-times as much as more wealthy residents, giving 35.3 percent of discretionary income.
Dobbs Ferry ranked 3,833 of the towns included in the study and gave $10.5 million overall. Dobbs Ferry residents gave 4.2 percent of discretionary income with the $50,000 to $99,999 income level giving the greatest share, at 22.2 percent.
The pattern of giving for Rivertowns residents was closely linked to the patterns of Westchester as a whole. Westchester residents gave an average 4.6 percent of income for all income levels, with the $50,000 to $99,999 level contribution the largest share in relation to income, giving 12.4 percent. Residents who made more than $200,000 reportedly gave 3.6 percent of their income.