Donations barely grew at all last year, 'Giving USA' report finds

Published: Tuesday, June 19 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

Our Take: A recent report by "Giving USA" highlights the minuscule growth of charitable giving over the past year, and indicates just how widespread the effects of the recession and struggling economy are. Religious organizations took the biggest hit, with donations falling by nearly 5 percent, according to the report. Holly Hall of the Chronicle of Philanthropy reports:

"For the second year in a row, charitable giving barely grew, rising by just 0.9 percent after inflation in 2011, according to today's release of "Giving USA," the annual yearbook of American philanthropy. The study estimated that the total donated was $298.4 billion."

Charitable giving last year was down 11 percent from what it was 5 years ago, and it will take more than a 0.9 percent rise to get back to pre-recession numbers anytime soon.

"If we continue to grow at this rate, it will take more than a decade to get back to where we were in total giving in 2007," said Patrick Rooney, executive director of the Indiana University Center on Philanthropy, which compiles "Giving USA."

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