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Report: Religious Groups See
Slight Decrease in Giving

BY FERNANDO ALFONSO III                                                                        ©2010 Religion News Service
eligious organizations reported a 0.7 percent decrease in donations last year, according to a study by Giving USA Foundation, a marked contrast from the 5.5 percent increase in giving reported in 2008.
Religious congregations accounted for 33 percent of the total $303 billion in contributions in 2009. This is the third year in a row that religious donations have exceeded $100 billion. Total donations for all charitable groups in 2009 were down by 3.6 percent.
The survey showed that foundations lost $31 billion in 2009, a 8 percent decrease from 2008. Donations to public organizations fell by $22.7 billion--a 4.6 percent decline--while international aid organizations received about $9 billion, a 6 percent increase.
"While overall giving declined, many donors--including individuals and foundations--made special efforts in 2009 to respond to greater humanitarian needs," said foundation chair Edith Falk in a statement.
The majority of donations came from individual contributors, who gave more than $227 billion.

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