BLOOMINGTON, Ind., June 25 (UPI) -- Charitable giving in the United States increased very little last year, data compiled by Indiana University's Center on Philanthropy indicated.
Individuals and institutions gave away an estimated $295 billion in 2006 which when adjusted for inflation amounted to 1 percent more than the previous year, The New York Times reported Monday.
Center director Patrick Rooney termed the results surprising, especially in the wake of financier Warren Buffet's pledge to give his multibillion-dollar fortune to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
"Given the media and nonprofit sector buzz around what we're calling the megagifts made last year, it is maybe a little surprising that giving did not increase more dramatically," Rooney told The Times.
The center's annual report, produced along with Giving USA Foundation, attributes 2006's lackluster growth to the absence of major disasters.