Religious congregations accounted for 33 percent of the total $303 billion in contributions in 2009. This is the third year in a row that religious donations have exceeded $100 billion.
The survey showed that foundations lost $31 billion in 2009, an 8 percent decrease from 2008. Donations to public organizations fell by $22.7 billion — a 4.6 percent decline — while international aid organizations received about $9 billion, a 6 percent increase.
“While overall giving declined, many donors — including individuals and foundations — made special efforts in 2009 to respond to greater humanitarian needs,” said foundation chair Edith Falk in a statement.
The majority of donations came from individual contributors, who gave more than $227 billion.
— Fernando Alfonso III