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Fundraisers upbeat

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Fundraisers throughout the U.S. are more optimistic about charitable giving now than they were six month ago, says a new survey.

The December 2003 Philanthropic Giving Index rates respondents’ impressions of current giving and expected future charitable giving.

The 208 respondents rated current giving close to what they rated it after Sept. 11, 2001, but still below pre-Sept. 11 ratings, says the survey by the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University.

After an all-time low last summer, fundraisers’ confidence in current and future giving grew more quickly in the past six months than during any other six-month period in the index’s seven-year history,.

Fifty-seven percent of respondents believe the economy is still having a negative effect on giving, down from 85 percent last summer.

Only 38 percent of respondents believe the war in Iraq is hurting giving, down from 56 percent last summer.

Overall, fundraisers from religious groups were the most pessimistic about giving, while those working for educational groups were the most optimistic.

Fundraisers said they recently had been most successful soliciting for planned giving and major gifts, and least successful with telephone solicitation, email and Internet fundraising.

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