Hurricane giving hits record

Private donations in response to the 2005 Gulf Coast hurricanes have reached $2.9 billion, setting what is believed to be a record for giving in response to a single disaster.

Hurricane giving has surpassed the $2.8 billion donated in response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, and the $1.8 billion given after the 2004 Asian tsunami, says the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University.

Given the scope of the hurricane devastation and long-term nature of the rebuilding efforts, the center predicts giving will continue.

Combined giving for the hurricanes, tsunami and Asian earthquake are estimated at $4.83 billion, or less than 2 percent of the $248 billion in total charitable giving in the U.S. for 2004, according to the Giving USA Foundation.

While some non-relief groups may see a short-term drop in giving in response to 2005 disasters, the center expects no long-term impact on donations, it says.

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