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A Boston Guide for ZIP Code Fundraising

Politicians looking to raise a little extra cash in Boston this week might want to hop in a cab to Beacon Hill, Back Bay or Boston’s financial district.

These three neighborhoods top the list of hot spots for donations, according to a Roll Call analysis of campaign-finance activity in and around the Boston area.

The big picture is that Beantown is fertile ground for fundraising, both by individuals and by business entities.

Bostonians have given nearly 6,500 donations of $200 or more so far this campaign cycle, contributing a total of $9.6 million to their favorite candidates, PACs, “527” groups and political parties.

But a closer examination of contributions by ZIP code demonstrates that certain parts of the city are without question more active participants in the money game.

Beacon Hill — the tony 19th-century neighborhood in central Boston that Democratic presidential hopeful John Kerry calls home — tops the list.

The affluent neighborhood, in the 02108 ZIP code, has an average age of 40.6 years, and 92 percent of the residents are white. Residents have made 715 political contributions totaling more than $4 million so far this campaign cycle.

That’s not bad for an area that has a population of only 3,484. (It should be noted that not all of that money went to Democrats. The Alliance for Quality Nursing Homes, for instance, made two donations totaling $175,000 to the Republican Governors Association, a 527 group, while two other Beacon Hill residents, Catherine Sims and James Sims, contributed $50,000 to the Republican National Committee.)

Boston’s Back Bay, located in the 02116 ZIP code, produced $1.57 million in contributions, making it the second-most lucrative area for political fundraising.

Measured by sheer numbers of contributions, however, the fashionable mid-19th century neighborhood, where the average age is 33.5, fared better than Beacon Hill, inspiring 1,544 individual donations.

Boston’s financial district, located in the 02110 ZIP code, has provided $691,817 in campaign cash thus far in the 2004 election cycle — not bad for an area with a population of only 1,597 people, according to the 2000 Census.

The Inner Harbor and Markets section of central Boston — ZIP code 02109 — was not far behind with $516,629, while the 02199 ZIP code stirred up $332,300 in donations.

Boston has other good locales for rounding up campaign dollars. If you’ve considered throwing a campaign luncheon in a Chinese restaurant, now’s the time to head on over to Boston’s Chinatown. The 02111 ZIP code, which includes Chinatown, Lafayette, Tufts and South Station, has contributed $269,836 to campaign coffers in 2003 and 2004.

And whether you’re looking for fast balls or a fast buck, head on over to Fenway Park, the 02115 ZIP code has got plenty of both.

Residents in and around Fenway brought home $221,225 in donations this election cycle, nearly as much money that flowed into campaign coffers from the 02130 ZIP code that includes Jamaica Plain.

On the other end of the spectrum, 16 ZIP codes in the city of Boston turned up zero campaign contributions, while six ZIP codes belonging to post office boxes yielded just over $10,000 in contributions.

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