Giving pace slows in U.S.

Dampened by the recession, charitable giving in the U.S. grew only half of 1 percent in 2001 to an estimated $212 billion, still an all-time high, a new report says.

Adjusted for inflation, giving fell 2.3 percent from a year earlier but still exceeded 2 percent of Gross Domestic Product, staying in the range of charity Americans generated during the economic boom years of the late 1990s, says Giving USA, an annual report on charitable giving by the AAFRC Trust for Philanthropy.

Giving in 2000 had surged 6 percent, before adjusting for inflation, to $210.89 billion, according to revised estimates.

Gifts supporting relief and recovery efforts after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks totaled nearly 1 percent of total estimated giving, with major national 9/11 relief funds getting an estimated $1.88 billion, the report says.

Overall, it says, individuals gave an estimated $160.72 billion, up 1.1 percent from revised totals for 2000 and representing 75.8 percent of all giving.

Individual giving, which fell 1.7 percent adjusted for inflation, totaled $1.25 billion for 9/11 causes, with most individual 9/11 gifts totaling less than $100.

Giving from bequests, representing 7.7 of total giving, fell 4.5 percent from a year earlier to an estimated $16.33 billion, down 7.1 percent adjusted for inflation.

Giving by corporations and their foundations, representing 1.3 percent of pre-tax profits and 4.3 percent of all giving, fell 12.1 percent to an estimated $9.05 billion, down 14.5 percent adjusted for inflation.

Corporate gifts for 9/11 relief totaled an estimated $410 million.

And grants from foundations other than corporate foundations represented 12.2 percent of total giving and grew 5.4 percent to $25.9 billion, up 2.5 percent adjusted for inflation.

Foundations grants for 9/11 relief totaled roughly $195 million.

Pledges by corporations and foundations for future gifts for 9/11 relief are not included in the estimates by Giving USA.

Religion received an estimated $80.96 billion in gifts, or 38.2 percent of the total.

Gifts to groups in other fields of interest, and their share of total giving, include:

* Education — $31.84 billion, or 15 percent, including $53 million to scholarship funds for families of 9/11 victims.

* Human services — $20.71 billion, or 9.8 percent, including $1.16 billion to the American Red Cross, Catholic Charities USA and funds established for 9/11 relief.

* Health — $18.43 billion, or 8.7 percent.

* Arts, culture and humanities — $12.14 billion, or 5.7 percent.

* Public-society benefit — $11.82 billion, or 5.6 percent, including $578 million donated to the September 11th Fund and other 9/11 relief funds.

* Environment — $6.41 billion, 3 percent.

* International affairs — $4.14 billion, 2 percent.

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