Charitable giving was down last year according to The Chronicle of Philanthropy, a newspaper of the nonprofit world, which published its list of the top 50 donors on Tuesday.

Only $4.1 billion went to charity in 2009, less than in all but one year since the Chronicle began tracking the biggest philanthropists in 2000. The median gift was $41.4 million compared with $69.3 million in 2008 and $74.7 million in 2007. “It was a very down year in terms of actual numbers of gifts,” says Chronicle Editor Stacy Palmer. “There was a 75% drop in funding by the 50 biggest givers.”

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