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Corporate giving mixed in 2008

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While more than half of American corporations gave more to charity last year than the year before, total giving declined slightly over the same period, a new survey says.

The souring economy began catching up with corporations in 2008, a year that saw profits drop for 68 percent of companies surveyed by the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy.

Still, 53 percent of companies gave more last year than in 2008, and of those that increased their giving, more than a quarter contributed at least 10 percent more.

However, 47 percent of companies gave less last year, and total giving for a sample of 102 corporations showed combined giving dropped to $10.03 billion in 2008 from $10.47 billion in 2007.

Median giving per company also declined, falling to $30.78 million last year from a high of $33.19 million in 2007.

Among those giving more in 2008 than 2007, non-cash giving saw the greatest increase, at 35 percent, with cash grants taking the biggest hit among companies whose profits fell in 2008.

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