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Giving grows but expected to slow

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Rob Mitchell

Rob Mitchell

Charitable giving in the U.S. totaled $29.56 billion in April, up 2.4 percent from March and 9.2 percent from April 2010, but is expected to begin slowing in June and continue fall through the end of the year, a new report says.

Giving overall in 2011 is expected to grow 4.3 percent, compared to 2010, although giving in the last three months of 2011 is projected to be less than in the same period in 2010, says the Philanthromax  Atlas of Giving.

“The current forecast suggests that the giving environment is best now and will continue to decline as the year progresses,” Rob Mitchell, CEO of Philanthromax, says in a statement.

Fueling the increase in March, the report says, were strong growth in the stock market and continued growth in the economy, mainly the result of “growing corporate success and the sustained rise in stock values,” Philanthromax says.

And giving for relief in the wake of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami provided an extra boost.

Giving is expected to decline because high prices for gasoline and food are “sucking resources out of individual discretionary spending,” Mitchell says, while charitable giving is under pressure because of continuing fears of a U.S. deficit and interest-rate increases, as well as continuing high unemployment and increasing political fundraising.

Mitchell says nonprofit professionals should consider moving fundraising promotions, events and appeals earlier in 2011.

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