Despite Recession, Americans Give to Charity in 2010

Katie Pavlich

6/20/2011 9:40:00 AM - Katie Pavlich

Despite a tough economic atmosphere since 2008, Americans have increased their charitable giving in 2010.

As the economy regained some momentum in 2010, Americans responded in kind by increasing their charitable giving.

Philanthropic donations from individuals, foundations and corporations increased 3.8% to $290.89 billion in 2010, up from $280.3 billion in 2009, according to the latest Giving USA survey, released Monday.

"There was a lot more optimism, all relative, in 2010," said Ms. Raybin. "If giving continues at this two or three percent [growth] level, it's going to take us a while to get back to where we were before."

In current dollars, philanthropic giving hit a peak of $310.57 billion in 2007 and then dropped to $299.81 billion in 2008. On average, giving accounts for about 2% of the gross domestic product.

More than a third of all contributions made last year are to religious organizations and giving in that sector remained flat in 2010.

Americans are still giving a substantial amount of money to charity despite economic uncertainty moving forward, proving once again America's unwavering generosity in good times and bad, showing Americans don't need the government telling them when to help eachother.