In what can be construed as a sign of economic recovery, Americans were in a more giving mood in 2011 than they were in 2010. Donors forked over a collective $347 billion to charities last year, $24.2 billion more than the year before.
Citing an Atlas of Giving report, MSNBC says charities as a whole received 7.5 percent more money in 2011 than they did in 2010, and are projected to see a 3.9 percent increase this year.
The news doesn’t exactly mean donations to all nonprofits are booming. The hefty unemployment rate has reduced the amount of workers able to give regular small-scale gifts. That’s a possible explanation for the reason people were a bit more stingy when passing the collection plate at church. According to the report, religious organizations received 36 percent of all donations, a slight dip from 2010.
If charitable giving is indeed a sign of optimism and abundance, charities are hoping as hard as any sector for job creation.