Public charities took in a record $306 billion in 2007.

Public charities took in a record $306 billion in 2007

Public charities took in an estimated $306 billion in 2007, topping the $300 billion mark for the first time ever, according to statistics released by the Giving U.S.A. Foundation, a Glenview, IL-based organization that promotes research and education in philanthropy. The 3.9 percent increase in 2007 (1 percent when adjusted for inflation) was attributed to a strong stock market at the beginning of last year, as well as to overall growth in the economy and jumps in personal and corporate income. Projections for 2007 are even more astonishing in the context of a stagnant stock market, soaring fuel prices, and a pronounced drop in home values over the past 12 months. Not surprisingly, however, the 366 charities surveyed for the Giving U.S.A. Foundation expressed concern for levels of contributions in 2008.