TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - Terre Haute ranks high in charitable giving among U.S. cities according to a report published Monday by the Chronicle of Philanthropy.
According to the report labeled "How America Gives," Terre Haute ranks 1,127 out of 11,522 cities for total giving, putting the city in the top 10 percent.
The report relies on data from the Internal Revenue Service from 2008, the last year for which the IRS has released information on charitable giving. During 2008, people in Terre Haute reported giving about $20.9 million to charity, on average giving 5 percent of their income, according to the report.
Still, leaders of local organizations believe the amount actually donated is much higher since many donors do not list their gifts on their tax returns.
"I think there's a vast majority of people who don't itemize their taxes, their receipts," said Troy Fears, executive director of the United Way of the Wabash Valley. "People who give to the United Way, we can give them a receipt … but a majority of our people don't ask for a receipt."
Meanwhile, Catholic Charities Development Director Jennifer Buell said many people volunteer in addition to donations or in place of them.
"The key thing that doesn't make it into the Federal data is giving of our time and talents," Buell said. "We see hundreds of volunteers who come to Catholic Charities."
Both Buell and Fears said that despite a tough economy, donations continue to pour in from people of all income levels.
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