Charitable donations in 2011 near $300 billion

Published: Tuesday, June 19 2012 10:00 a.m. MDT

Americans have continued to increase their charitable donations since the recession. In 2011 donations were at $298.42 billion, up from $278.6 billion in 2009, according to Reuters.

Religious donations made up one-third of the donations in 2011, at $95.8 billion. About 222,000 American religious groups received donations last year, according to the study from Giving USA Foundation and the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, Reuters reports. Though faith groups were the most donated to, the amount given has dropped 1.7 percent.

"Giving to religion, along with membership in certain mainline Protestant denominations, is declining," said Thomas Mesaros, chairman of the Giving Institute, to Reuters. "It might be too soon to call the drops in this particular category a tend, but I think they bear watching."

Other charities that have a high amount of donations are arts and culture, education and human services, reported Reuters. But international donations are one of the fastest-growing contributions, said Una Osilli, director of research for the Center on Philanthropy, to Reuters.

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