Charitable giving up 15 percent in December

Dec. 30, 2011 at 12:00 PM
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WASHINGTON, Dec. 30 (UPI) -- Charitable giving in December is up 15 percent from 2010 across the United States, says the Network for Good, a Web site for giving donations to charities.

"This year looks a little better, but not back to pre-recession levels yet," said Katya Andresen, Network for Good's chief strategy officer.

While one-third of all online giving happens in December, a study by Network for Good shows 22 percent happens in the last two days of the year, CNN reported Friday.

The extra end-of-year giving is attributed to donors looking for some last-minute tax savings.

"It's traditional to think about charity in December and of course, it's the end of the tax year," Andresen said.

Experts say although giving is up, it's still low compared with just a few years ago. Total charitable donations from individuals, corporations and foundations increased in 2010 to $290.9 billion, but that is below 2007's $310.6 billion, Giving USA, a foundation that tracks charitable contributions, reported.

Geoffrey Brown, executive director of the organization, says it's too early to say how 2011 will fare compared with last year. "Giving is probably going to be flat, if anything," he said.

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