Dec 30, 2011

Charities get last-minute boost from donors

CNN Money


NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Chalk it up to the holiday spirit -- or just smart tax planning -- but charitable giving is looking up this month.

Giving in December is already up 15% from 2010, according to the latest tally by Network for Good, a site that enables donors to contribute to more than 10,000 charities across the country. In November, donations rose 20% over the same month last year.

"This year looks a little better, but not back to pre-recession levels yet," said Katya Andresen, Network for Good's chief strategy officer.

But the best is yet to come. While one-third of all online giving for the year occurs in December, a whopping 22% happens in the last two days of the year, according to Network for Good's online giving study. That end-of-year rush can mainly be attributed to donors looking for some last-minute tax savings.

"It's traditional to think about charity in December and of course, it's the end of the tax year," Andresen said.

Still, with less than 48 hours left in the calendar year, it's unlikely this will be a substantially better year for charities after three years in a row of lackluster giving.

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