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Giving in D.C. stalls

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Residents of the Washington, D.C., area are giving roughly the same amount to charity, but the largest local corporations and the majority of local foundations are giving less, says a new report.

In 2001, individual donors in the region gave $5.5 billion, up only 1.8 percent from 2000, when giving grew over 12 percent, says the report by Washington Grantmakers, an association of over 140 foundations, corporate philanthropy programs and government grantmakers that give in the region.

Though individual giving was stagnant, area residents gave an average of $2,296 each, over twice the national average of $1,110.

The top 25 local corporate donors gave 22 percent less to local charities in 2002, only $89 million, compared to $114 million in 2001.

Over half of the 1,300 local, private foundations reduced their grantmaking in 2002 and over half lost assets, says A Region of Givers 2003, the fourth annual report on Washington, D.C., philanthropy.

The top 100 private foundations gave over $491 million in 2002, with nearly half going to nonprofits in the area, half going to nonprofits nationwide and 2.5 percent going to international groups.

Nearly two out of three nonprofits surveyed said they received less or the same amount of money from individuals, corporations and the government than in 2002, while three out of four nonprofits said they received less or the same in foundation grants.

While local nonprofits are bringing in fewer donations, nearly three out of four nonprofits surveyed are getting more demand for their programs and services.

Washington Grantmakers predicts that individual, corporate and foundation giving will continue to drop because of the weak economy.

Last year, Washington Grantmakers and 20 other groups launched a local version of the national Network for Good web site called TouchDC.org, which tries to improve local philanthropy by highlighting local charities and allowing people to donate money or arrange to volunteer online.

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