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Giving strong in first half of 2005

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While overall giving to non-relief groups did not change materially after the tsunami in Southeast Asia, the one-two punch of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, coupled with economic challenges, could dampen growth, a new study says.

The study, conducted by Target Analysis Group, “Index of National Fundraising Performance,” analyzes donor transactions from more than 19 million donors totaling almost $750 million from January through June of this year.

Giving to relief organizations skyrocketed in the first quarter of 2005 in response to the tsunami, but giving to non-relief groups remained steady, the study says, and by the end of the first quarter, donors had become more philanthropic overall, giving to favored charities as well as relief efforts.

In the second quarter of 2005, the median increase in donors was 2.1 percent, with revenue up almost 8 percent and revenue per donor up 4.4 percent.

During that period, median revenue for the international relief sector was up 85.5 percent, but other sectors saw health increases as well, including the environmental and animal welfare sectors, both of which grew about 10 percent.

Median new donor counts for international relief groups were up more than 170 percent, reversing a drop of 38 percent the year prior, the report says, and new donor counts for non-relief groups were virtually flat.

While the trends are positive, continued growth is uncertain given economic challenges, including rising interest rates and soaring energy prices.

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