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2007 U.S. charitable giving broke record

WASHINGTON, June 23 (UPI) -- Charitable donations in the United States rose to a record $306 billion in 2007, a Giving USA Foundation report said.

Individual donations at $229 billion held steady in 2007 and corporate donations at $15.9 billion declined by 1 percent on the year when adjusted for inflation, The Washington Post reported Monday.

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But private foundations increased giving by 7 percent and donations through personal bequests increased by 4 percent, the report said.

Foundation assets rose from $550 billion in 2006 to $614 billion in 2007 but charities are reportedly worried rising gas prices rise and an economy hovering near a recession will slow donations in 2008, the Post said.

"Those nonprofits that have the most tenuous relationships with donors are the ones that have the greater concerns," Del Martin, chairwoman of the Giving USA Foundation told the Post.

Requests for help are rising, the report said. Emergency assistance requests have jumped 28 percent at Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington since the economy began to sour, the Post reported.

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