Outlook rosy for holiday giving

With a strong first three quarters of fundraising under their belts, U.S. charities are optimistic about the generosity of donors during the current holiday season, a new survey says.

GuideStar, which provides information about nonprofits, says more than half the organizations it surveyed reported stronger financial performance in the first nine months of the year compared to the same period in 2006, while one in four reported no change, and fewer than one in five saw a decrease.

The need for nonprofits’ services also grew in the first three quarters of 2007, the study says, with two in three charities reporting greater demand.

The giving season, which includes October through December, generally is an important time for fundraising in the nonprofit sector, and almost half the groups surveyed say they receive the majority of their contributions during that time.

About six in 10 nonprofits say they expect the 2007 giving season to outshine last year’s, the survey says, and almost three in 10 are expecting performance to be about the same.

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