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Gulf oil spill expected to dampen giving

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As the BP oil spill continues spreading through the Gulf of Mexico, charitable giving is expected to slow in affected states until 2012 at the earliest, a new report says.

The loss of charitable contributions could be as high as $300 million this year and could rise to as much as $600 million next year, say data from PhilanthroDEX, an index of charitable giving.

The full impact of the spill on giving will depend on how many states are affected and how the impacts are felt throughout the U.S.

“Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida are just beginning to feel the economic effects of the spill, including revenue and job loss,” says Rob Mitchell, CEO of Philanthromax, which produces PhilanthroDEX. “Charities that derive a significant portion of their philanthropic revenue from these areas will be adversely impacted now and for the foreseeable future.”

During the first five months of 2010, giving totaled $133.82 billion, up 9.2 percent over the same period last year, but that rise likely will be eroded by the effects of the oil spill.

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