A Giving Desert Blossoms

Phoenix’s Giving Boom 2

John C. Phillips, for The Chronicle

Jan Allen, a retired Mesa, Ariz., resident, gives 8 percent of her income to charity annually.

Jan Allen considers herself an average donor in her upper-middle-income neighborhood of Mesa, Ariz., the community in the Phoenix metropolitan area where donors give the highest share of their discretionary income to charity.

“You can’t live here without giving,” says the 60-year-old, who, along with her husband, retired to Arizona from the aerospace industry in Los Angeles. “It’s part of everyday life and the social scene.”

She gives about