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Giving may be victim of recession

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While donors are not immune to the recession, with almost half already reducing or stopping their charitable giving, most people who attend religious services regularly don’t plan to cut back, a new study says.

Over four in 10 people say they already either have reduced what they give to charity or stopped giving altogether, says a survey of adults across the U.S. conducted by Wilson Research Strategies and commissioned by Dunham+Company.

But more than eight in 10 respondents who attend religious services at least once a week say they plan to donate the same amount or more, compared to fewer than seven in 10 secular respondents.

In the coming year, more than half of respondents overall plan to give the same amount this year, the study says, while one in four plan to give less.

Middle-class Americans have the most pessimistic outlook, with four in 10 planning to cut back on their giving in 2009.

Slightly more than one in four upper-class households are planning to reduce their giving.

“With the ongoing tremors in the economy and with households continuing to pull back on spending, charities are going to have to work that much harder to gain a share of household expenditures,” Rick Dunham, president and CEO of Dunham+Company, says in a statement.

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