Despite feeling the pain of the economic slowdown in 2008, Americans continued to give generously to charities, though few as generously as Warren Buffett who has promised to donate 99% of his riches.

Most of Buffett's charitable giving has been earmarked to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to which he gives an annual gift. This year’s donation soared 28%, to $1.6 billion, up from $1.25 billion last year, as Berkshire Hathaway shares shot up 35% over the last year. It is Buffett's largest donation since the 2008 financial crisis struck.

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