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Giving in Georgia nears $6.7 billion

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Giving to Georgia’s more than 7,000 public charities reached almost $6.7 billion in 2007, while nonprofit revenues have grown by a third since 2000, two new studies say.

Individual Georgians donated a total of $5.58 billion to charity last year, says Georgia Gives, a new study released by Georgia State University and the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University.

Georgians appear to be more generous than their counterparts throughout the U.S., donating an average of $2,381 each in 2007, more than the average of $2,247 contributed by Americans.

Among Georgians, those living in Atlanta were most likely to give, with almost nine in 10 making donations in 2007, compared to fewer than seven in 10 outside the capital.

Religious groups take in 55.5 percent of individual giving in Georgia, while “public society benefit organizations,” like the United Way, comes in a distant second with 14 percent of donations.

Corporations in the state awarded a total of $503 million to charity last year, the study says, while foundation gave $615 million in 2006.

As of 2005, the state was home to 7,119 public charities, says a second report, “Nonprofit Georgia.”

Together, those groups reported combined revenue of $24.7 billion, up an inflation-adjusted 36 percent from 2000.

While the majority of nonprofits are located in Georgia’s urban areas, those in rural communities tend to be healthier financially, the study says.

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