Milford's Wealthiest Give Least to Charity

Milford residents in the highest tax brackets give less of their annual income to charity than those earning a lower amount of money.


In addition to , a recent report shows that the wealthiest in Milford are the least charitable citizens.

The Chronicle of Philanthropy analyzed income levels and Internal Revenue Service records for the study.

Milford residents in the highest tax brackets ($100,000 to over $200,000/year) gave a smaller percent of their annual income to charity than those making $50,000-$99,9999 per year.

In 2008, Milford residents in the $50,000-$99,999 income bracket gave 4.40% of their annual discretionary income to charity.

Those earning $100,000-$199,999 gave 2.60% and residents earning in excess of $200,000 annually gave 3.30%. 

The information is based on 2008 figures, the most recent year for which data is available.


Milford residents who had only acquired a High School Diploma made up the highest percentage of charity donors, with 28.20%, compared to 15.30% given by those with postgraduate degrees.

Those with some college experience made up the second most-giving group, making up 24.80%, while those with a Bachelor's Degree gave 20.20%.

Milford residents with no High School Diploma made up the smallest group at 11.40%.

Here's a look at the breakdown of giving by income level in Milford:

Total Returns

Total Contributions

Average Contributions Average Discretionary Income
Percent of Income Given


Milford residents in the $50,000-$99,999 income bracket




Milford residents in the $100,000-$199,999 income bracket
Milford residents in the >$200,000 income bracket
Rockergirl1960 August 22, 2012 at 05:41 PM
Not bitter Bill. I'm sure there are plenty of liberals who do give plenty to charity. But they are facts whether you like them or not.
Concerned Parent August 22, 2012 at 05:45 PM
Being greedy, cheap, narcissistic, and uncaring are not traits exclusive to any political party...Despite what people may presume...
Bill Canfield August 22, 2012 at 06:07 PM
To Rocker Girl-You are agreeing with that poison? Assumptions not facts!!!
Peter Spalthoff August 22, 2012 at 08:17 PM
I am sure that Mr. Sartor did his homework for this article and I certainly will not try to put any type of spin on it as to why, or what political party, or for that matter weather we have millionaires in Milford or not (because we certainly do). What I can and will add to this blog is the simple fact that Milford citizens are tremendously giving individuals regardless of their financial status. Rich, poor, not so rich and not so poor, they have for years contributed to many organizations in this community and have always been there when needed. I will tell you first hand that the United Way of Milford has raised in excess of $900,000.00 a year over the past 6 years (how many communities have done that?) in both good and bad economic times and that money has been from right here in the Milford community and put right back into the community. Regardless of how one reads and then interprets Mr. Sartors article, believe me our Milford neighbors are some of the most giving individuals that I personally know of and am very proud of what we all have done and continue to do in the area of caring for our neighbors.
Ryan Sartor (Editor) August 22, 2012 at 08:20 PM
Hi Peter: I totally agree! There are many Milford groups and individuals that give back. The United Way and other organizations do a lot of great work. I would also emphasize that these statistics only apply to donations referenced in tax returns for the year 2008.
C.S. August 22, 2012 at 09:06 PM
I agree with what Michael Brown said.
Corinne Miller August 22, 2012 at 09:24 PM
Ryan, thanks for the bone. You should still retract the headline and the opening statement that says the wealthiest give less than those earning lower incomes. The numbers in your chart contradict your conclusion. That being the case, one can logically deduce that you had an agenda here to somehow paint successful people as selfish. Not saying this was actually your agenda, just saying it appears that way. Even your last statement in your comment that many "give back" implies that people owe something.... And how is any one individual (you or anyone) qualified to determine how much someone should "give back?"
Ryan Sartor (Editor) August 22, 2012 at 10:25 PM
Hi, Corrine. I thought it was newsworthy that those with the highest income reported the smallest percentage of charitable donations in 2008. I had no further purpose for writing the article. I will refrain from using the phrase "Give back" in future philanthropy-related comments. You are correct that it is not a journalistic term. Thanks for reading and commenting. I often learn a great deal from the comments section and appreciate all contributions.
Ryan Sartor (Editor) August 22, 2012 at 10:26 PM
Hi Corinne, sorry for misspelling your name! I'm typing on an iPhone, which is never ideal!
Starla August 22, 2012 at 11:57 PM
Enough said? How about proving all these erroneous statements.
Corinne Miller August 23, 2012 at 01:04 AM
Ryan, I am a fierce defender of freedom of the press and defend your right to write about any subject you deem "newsworthy." I am also a proponent of journalistic integrity. The headline and the opening comment in your story were not accurate. The "wealthy" did not give "less of their income." They literally gave more. (Again, reference the chart in the article.) If you thought the story was "newsworthy," then it was your responsibility to write a balanced piece and not lead with inaccurate information. "The wealthy in Milford gave a lesser percentage of their discretionary income to charity than did lower earners, according to a recent report" would be a statement of accurate fact. But to write "a recent report shows that the wealthiest in Milford are the least charitable citizens" is not a fact, but an interpretation of the report being referenced. If you really wanted to be balanced, you could have written something like this: "The wealthy in Milford gave a lesser percentage of their discretionary income to charity than did lower earners, although the average dollar amounts of contributions of wealthy earners was higher, according to a recent report." Then go ahead and write an editorial if you want to offer your own insights. Just don't disguise it as news.
Martin Casey August 23, 2012 at 02:29 AM
there is an old saying... 'the reason they have so much, is because they don't give it away'... I guess this proves that saying true... Wealthier people are notoriously bad tippers... anyone agree??
Martin Casey August 23, 2012 at 02:35 AM
Sorry, Corinne, I disagree... Percentages are everything when you level the playing field... it speaks to the character of the person and not the amount of money they give... If a poor man gives 20% of his earnings, it hurts just as much as a wealthier man giving 20%.... give til it hurts is what I remember learning.... something about not letting the right hand know what the left hand is doing...
CuriousOrange August 23, 2012 at 12:34 PM
Sociology claims it is in the Bible: The Matthew [25:29] Effect. The rich get richer, poor get poorer. -- but fails to explain about tips.
Corinne Miller August 23, 2012 at 01:11 PM
Don't be sorry Martin. We can agree to disagree. I enjoy a healthy debate, especially when the goal of those involved is to arrive at a deeper understanding. The concept of a level playing field is a utopian fallacy. In other words, it is a human attempt to make everything "fair" and/or "equal" but since all things are not and never can be equal, the idea can not be effectively applied or used to measure value, outcome, intent, etc. I also believe it is not anyone's place to judge the character of a person based on the amount (or percentage) of money he/she gives or does not give to charity. For example, a so-called "wealthy" person may have four children and 10 grandchildren who will survive him. If he earned $200K a year he may have somehow managed to accumulate a million dollars in the bank (hypothetical example here). His heirs would divide that and all of a sudden the "fortune" is smaller per person. So I would not judge the "wealthy" person's character for considering the future needs of his family. Again,that is just one possible scenario which would preclude us from rushing to judgment concerning a person's character. (And this was my main complaint about the original article. It presented a conclusion in the form of character defamation.)
Concerned Parent August 23, 2012 at 01:17 PM
When it comes to wealth, there are 2 groups....Old Money and the Nouveau Riche..It's been my experience that the Nouveau Riche are the ones who my be less apt to be generous...I concur with the term the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, but depending on who you are talking about, some remember their roots, and of course there are those who do not want to have anything to do with it and completely distance themselves from it.
Corinne Miller August 23, 2012 at 01:17 PM
Curious George, that passage from Matthew is from Christ's parable of the talents. (Talents were a denomination of money.) The verse you quoted is explaining that people who wisely invest will see an increase and that those who do nothing with what they've been given will lose everything. It really isn't sociology or even a literal teaching on finances. It is an allegory for the principal that if we use our God-given gifts for good, we will be given more.
CuriousOrange August 23, 2012 at 01:39 PM
The latest AP reports continued to tell us "Middle class share of America's income shrinking"* Many people think it is not because the Middle Class invested unwisely in the stock market/housing bubble. It is because the richest have gamed the system, paying themselves more, driving up commodity prices as speculators, buying legislators and writing carve-outs and laws that benefit only their own interest -- and then getting government subsidies, bailouts, etc because they control the government. *http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jOCjhEae1YxagqhN-8gpLSLx75kw?docId=38451ee4eb6445b78e217fe623c3b662
Concerned Parent August 23, 2012 at 01:52 PM
@Curious, IMO, Americans are in the shape they are in today, because they rely on others too much in making important decisions. People need to start being accountable for their own mistakes than pointing the finger of blame at anyone else. No one's arm's were twisted in the financial decision's they made.
Ryan Sartor (Editor) August 23, 2012 at 01:58 PM
'Less' has a lot of definitions. By 'less' I meant a smaller percentage of their total income, not a smaller total amount.
CuriousOrange August 23, 2012 at 02:02 PM
@Ed. Maybe we should go back to Glass-Steagall and the old usury laws because the others people rely on -- such as bankers, brokers, and media barkers -- are willing to risk other people's money as long as they can collect huge fees and salaries.
Corinne Miller August 23, 2012 at 02:20 PM
Curious and Ed, I think you are both right. There is severe corruption (a long discussion for another message board) as well as really poor personal decision making. Bad combo. In the context of the discussion about this article on Milford's wealthiest being selfish, I am guessing we can still agree that the story does a disservice to the generous people of Milford.
Donald Sweeney August 23, 2012 at 02:50 PM
I have see and spoken with this veteran with a sign requesting help. I myself a Disabled Veteran, When I advised him of the numberous aid available to veterans, He chose not to accept any. There are programs available to help veterans and their families, refer them to their DAV chapter or other Veteran service organizations for help. Giving money to him only encourages him to ask for more.
Starla August 23, 2012 at 05:35 PM
I put myself (mostly) through school waiting on tables. From my own personal experience, you are so correct.
Starla August 23, 2012 at 05:44 PM
Don't know if I agree with this. Old money to me, means they hang on to it more tightly. My granddad used to drive a cab in NYC back in the 60's. Time and again, picking up a passenger(s) from Park Ave, Madison Ave, upper East Side meant a very poor tip. What used to burn him up was for example the fare was .85-.90 cents (don't forget, this was during the 1960's), the passenger would hand over a dollar and say to m grandad, "just give me the nickel back".
CuriousOrange August 23, 2012 at 06:54 PM
Given the many social ills addressed by government, maybe the Chronicle should add taxes paid (minus 50% wasted on defense) to charitable giving as a percentage of income to rate our philanthropy.
Corinne Miller August 23, 2012 at 08:21 PM
@George, Well, yes. I suspect you are being tongue-in-cheek here though. But really we are compelled to support "social" programs with our taxes. This is not charity since it is not voluntary. Unfortunately, it does have an impact on how much of our earned income is actually left for supporting the charities of our individual choice as opposed to what and whom the government deems worthy of charity (courtesy of the taxpayers' dollars).
LAM August 25, 2012 at 04:38 AM
Incredible! Even in an article about CHARITIBLE GIVING the partisans turn it into a debate about which one of their useless parties donates more. Guess what, with your respective parties repulsive policy and election tactics to try and claim a moral high ground over the other is laughable and to the point delusional.
Corinne Miller August 25, 2012 at 04:44 PM
But it wasn't really an article about charitable giving as much as it was a slam against so-called "wealthy" people. The article was partisan to begin with.
Denis Shaw August 29, 2012 at 09:10 PM
This is not really about who gives the most but who is most likely to get audited by the IRS most. Wealthier people are audited more because that is where the most money can be extracted from. People who do their own taxes will take the full amount they can no matter what they give because the IRS audits them less. People who hire people to do their taxes have a hard time finding someone willing to put their own licenses on the line so some other guy can get more money back from the government.


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