Charitable Giving to continue to decline next couple years

The Wall Street Journal reports that, faced with continued economic uncertainty, Americans cut back on their charitable giving again last year.

For the second year in a row, philanthropy has seen the deepest decline ever recorded by the Giving USA Foundation, which has tracked annual giving since 1956. Giving, in current dollars, has gone up every year the organization has measured it except 1987 and the past two years.

This is the first recorded decline in donations to charities since 1969.

Nancy Raybin, chair of the Giving Institute, the consulting arm of the Giving USA Foundation, said she expected giving to continue to decline or to be flat for the next couple of years, but that contributions are likely to rebound as they did after the Great Depression.

Whatever their wealth, people need to feel it is secure, and until they regain confidence in the economy, giving is likely to stay down, said Claire Costello, national foundation executive for Bank of America Merrill Lynch Philanthropic Management.

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