Measuring this season of giving

A Salvation Army bell ringer

TEXT OF STORY

LISA NAPOLI: Almost two years to the day after the devastating Asian tsunami, the U.S. and six other countries are asking Thailand to look into an alleged misuse of donations. Charitable giving reached record highs in 2005 because of the tsunami and Hurricane Katrina. Diantha Parker looks at how it fared this past year.


DIANTHA PARKER: If you're trying to gauge charitable giving for 2006, say philanthropy watchers, look at 2004.

Back then, economy and consumer confidence were hitting their respective strides after two slow years, says Chronicle of Philanthropy reporter Holly Hall.

HOLLY HALL: Finally, you know a fantastic celebratory type of recovery almost, just almost reaching the pre-9/11 levels and so I think this year is kind of a continuation of that.

Three-quarters of all charitable gifts come from individuals making less than $100,000 a year.

Patrick Rooney is with the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University. He says the typical gift is below $100.

PATRICK ROONEY: The giving will continue to grow in ways that might look more like it has in the past where relatively small changes in the economy would foreshadow relatively small changes in philanthropy.

He also says the total could be affected by things we can't predict, including disasters, natural and manmade.

I'm Diantha Parker for Marketplace.

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