Top 400 U.S. charities see billions less in donations

A new ranking of the nation's 400 biggest charities shows donations dropped by 11 percent overall last year the worst decline in 20 years since the Chronicle of Philanthropy began keeping a tally.

United Way and the Salvation Army continue to dominate the ranking, despite the 2009 declines.

"It shows that charities are really having a tough time, and these are some of the most successful charities in the United States," Chronicle Editor Stacy Palmer said. "Usually bigger charities are more resilient, so that's the part that is still surprising."

Only four charities in the top 10 reported increased contributions over last year, including Catholic Charities USA, AmeriCares Foundation, Feed the Children, and Food for the Poor. Habitat for Humanity also had some of the largest growth in cash donations over that time.

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