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Silicon Valley Giving to Charities

June 26, 2002

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SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) _ Despite the high-tech meltdown of the past two years, Silicon Valley residents continue to generously give to charities, according to a report released Wednesday.

The report, based on a poll by Field Research Corp. and commissioned by Community Foundation Silicon Valley, found that 78 percent of households in the area said they have given money or property to a charity or nonprofit group this year.

That figure was 83 percent when Community Foundation did a similar study in 1998. But those who are giving are donating a higher percentage of their income _ 3.3 percent, compared to 2.7 percent in 1998.

Perhaps most surprisingly, 83 percent of the 1,516 people surveyed said they are donating just as much or more than they did last year, said Chi Nguyen, a senior associate at Collaborative Economics, the private advisory firm that wrote the report.

She said the study should shatter the commonly held belief that high-tech workers are too busy or too self-involved to donate. The report said the average Silicon Valley household gives $2,300 to charity, well above the national average of $1,620.

``We’ve lived with this often-repeated stereotype of `cyber-stingy,‴ Nguyen said. ``Our data doesn’t support that.″

The most common recipients of Silicon Valley philanthropy are religious institutions, with 52 percent of donors giving to a church, temple or other spiritual organization. That figure was 37 percent in 1998.

The survey defined Silicon Valley as Santa Clara County and parts of Santa Cruz, Alameda and San Mateo counties.

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On the Net:

Community Foundation Silicon Valley: http://www.cfsv.org

Collaborative Economics: http://www.coecon.com

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