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Donors expect to give the same or more

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Sarah C. Libbey

Sarah C. Libbey

American donors plan to give the same amount or more to charity this year, and they say charitable tax deductions do not affect their giving, a new study says.

Among 502 adults who plan to donate $200 or more to charity in 2011 and were interviewed by phone by Opinion Research Corporation for Fidelity Charitable, 72 percent plan to maintain or increase their charitable giving this year compared to last year, up from 63 percent in 2010 that planned to maintain or increase their giving.

Sixty-four percent say charitable tax deductions have no impact on their giving, although 69 percent at least somewhat agree the limiting the charitable tax deduction for households in the highest income bracket would have a negative impact on overall giving in the U.S.

Seventy-two percent say they plan most or all of their giving in advance, donating 58 percent of it to organizations where they do not have an obligation to give, and donating 42 percent at the request of a friend or family member, or because of an obligation to give.

Fidelity Charitable also reported its donors recommended $832 million in grants to nonprofits in the U.S. in the first nine months of 2011, up 12 percent from the same period last year.

And incoming contributions to Fidelity Charitable grew 23 percent to $748 million, compared to the same period last year.

Donations in the form of appreciated securities totaled 56 percent of overall contributions in the first nine months, up from 51 percent in the same period last year, while complex-asset donations were five times higher in the first nine months, compared to the same period last year.

Through Fidelity Charitable, established in 1991, donors have supported over 140,000 nonprofits throughout the U.S. with over $11 billion in grants.

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