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Giving grows

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By Ret Boney

More Arizonans are giving to charity, and average donations have grown, says a new survey.

Eight in 10 Arizonans made a financial charitable contribution during the past year, up from three in four in 1999, says the “2004 Guide to Philanthropy,” published in September by the Arizona Community Foundation and Leave a Legacy, an initiative that promotes giving through wills or trusts.

The average charitable gift grew roughly one-third over the same period, from $2,041 to $2,724, and three in four donors say they plan to give next year at the same level, the survey says.

“There are more baby boomers getting to the age where people are more likely to give,” says Sandy Doubleday, the foundation’s vice president for marketing communications. “And the government doesn’t give as much as it used to, so there are more gaps in the community.”

One in 10 donors surveyed have made charitable bequests, designating money to a charity through a will, up one-fourth since 1999, with the average bequest estimated at about $35,000, Doubleday says.

More than one in four donors say they are likely to make a bequest in the future, giving that could provide $14 billion for Arizona nonprofits, the survey says.

The full report can be viewed at azfoundation.org.

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