Beliefnet

(RNS) Most Americans who made charitable donations in response tothe Sept. 11 attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Centers say theyintend to give as much or more than they usually give to othercharities, according to a report released Tuesday (Oct. 23) by anonprofit coalition of charitable groups.

About 70 percent of the 1,009 respondents to the Independent Sectorpoll said they contributed to disaster-related charities in some formafter the attacks, including 58 percent who donated money to suchcharities.

Of those who donated money, more than half--73 percent--saidthey would maintain or increase their usual giving to charitable causes.About 26 percent said they would reduce their usual giving or not giveany more money at all.

About half of all respondents said a weakening economy would notaffect their charitable giving. About 28 percent said a weakeningeconomy would cause them to reduce giving "somewhat," while 11 percentsaid such a situation would cause them to greatly reduce giving. Ninepercent said they would stop giving completely if the economy weakened.

The economy's performance "presents a cause for concern," said SaraE. Melendez, president and CEO of Independent Sector.

"The convergence of three factors--the terrorist attacks, a shakyeconomy, and rising needs--has made this a precarious time forcharities as they work to serve their communities," Melendez said."However, the results of this poll indicate that most Americans arethinking of their giving to Sept. 11 charities as over and above theirnormal giving."

The Independent Sector survey arrives as the Chronicle ofPhilanthropy reports that donations to charitable organizations involvedwith disaster relief and recovery efforts has topped $1 billion. Amongthose helping the effort, Catholic Charities USA has raised some $5million, the Salvation Army has raised $35 million, and the American RedCross has raised $452 million.

Read the report: Charitable Giving: 9/11 and Beyond.

Resource: How you can help.

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