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US Charitable Donations Near $300 Billion

  • VOA News

United States dollar bills

United States dollar bills

A study says contributions to charities by U.S. citizens, corporations and foundations rose to nearly $300 billion last year.

Giving by Americans rose four percent in 2011 from the year before, with gifts from individuals accounting for nearly three-quarters of total donations or $218 billion.

Corporate gifts remained steady at $14.5 billion.

The report, released jointly by the Giving USA Foundation and the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, says the largest recipients of donations were religious organizations, which accounted for 32 percent, or $95 billion.

Educational institutions were the second highest recipients receiving $39 billion in gifts.

The study reports increased donations to charities focusing on human services, health, arts, culture and humanities.

Jim Yunker, chairman of Giving USA, says America’s charities have been traveling down a "very rocky road" in recent years, but adds that charitable giving, like other spending categories in the average American household budget, appears to be "climbing out of the trough that resulted from the Great Recession".

The report shows that individual giving remained the same over the past three years accounting for 1.9 percent of disposable income.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.