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Friday, October 29, 2010 - 11:22am

Charitable Giving Remains 'Soft'

Updated: 4 years ago.
Habitat For Humanity is one of many non-profit organizations to see decreases in recent years (Image courtesy fanpop)

Philanthropic giving hits its lowest levels in two decades last year, according to a recent survey of 400 of the nation's largest non-profits by the Chronicle of Philanthropy.

The Carter Center in Atlanta saw the largest decrease in Georgia, with private support dropping more than 59%.

And the rebound is slow. After a strong summer this year, Americus-based Habitat for Humanity says giving has slowed with the October political season. Its $220 million average is off by 8%.

Mark Crozet, Senior Vice President of Resource Development, says that’s largely because most of Habitat’s donations come from middle class Americans who are still struggling:

"They tell us the recession ended a year ago and we’re just not seeing that in the mindset of donors and I think some of that is the uncertainty.”

Only Brunswick-based aid group MAP International saw its funding rise last year, and that was because of donated medical supplies.

President and CEO Michael Nyenhuis says this year is stronger than last year, but today’s fundraising climate remains “soft.”

“Well it may be psychological but the unemployment rate remains really high. People’s housing values haven’t returned. The stock market has of course come back up again but not to the level that it was. I just think people are cautious.”

Both charities expect 20% of their yearly support to pour in with end-of-year giving in December.