Giving USA recently released the data on charitable contributions in 2009, making it the most recent year on record. Overall donations slipped 3.6 percent lower than the previous year, an amount surprising more for how small it is than for how large, given the economic situation. Donations from individuals were down less than a half percent, so much of the overall decrease is linked to corporations and their individual current financial problems or fears.
Giving to religion, education, and the arts all declined, while giving to international aid, health, human services and the environment actually increased. The more than six percent increase in giving to international aid is probably linked to the Haiti earthquake.
Not a bad year, in general. The genorsity of Americans in general is largely undaunted by the most difficult economic situation since the Great Depression of the 1930s. "Praise God from whom all blessings flow."