Recovery in Giving

Americans might be trying to be more optimistic in 2011, but charitable organizations are little more guarded, according to findings from a recent study by the Nonprofit Research Collaborative. The national survey found that 36% of charities reported an increase in donations in the first nine months of 2010, compared with only 23% in the same period of 2009. On the flip side, 37% of charities reported a decrease in giving, a significant drop from the 51% that reported similarly in 2009. Still, charities have a long way to go if they hope to return to the same levels of giving they saw three or four years ago, says Patrick M. Rooney, executive director of the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, which collaborated on the study. Indeed, the 2011 outlook is mixed for charitable organizations. Forty-seven percent plan budget increases, 33% expect to maintain their current spending level and 20% anticipate a lower budget.

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