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Report: Oil spill to have huge impact on charitable giving

DALLAS — The current gulf coast oil spill will have a profound impact on charitable giving until at least 2012, according to data from PhilanthroDEX, an online U.S. charitable giving index and forecasting product.

The loss of charitable gifts is forecast to be $200 to $300 million in 2010 and as much as $600 million in 2011. However, the total effect on giving will depend on the number of states directly impacted by the oil spillage and its subsequent ripple effect on the U.S. economy.

“Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida are just beginning to feel the economic effects of the spill including revenue and job loss,” said Rob Mitchell, CEO of Philanthromax, the company launching PhilanthroDEX, and the former president of the American Cancer Society Foundation. “Within the next few months, the oil spill will likely impact additional states, such as Texas and the lower Atlantic seaboard. Charities that derive a significant portion of their philanthropic revenue from these areas will be adversely impacted now and for the foreseeable future.”

According to PhilanthroDEX data, the impact of the oil spill will begin to erode a measured 9.2 percent rise in charitable giving for the first five months of 2010. Nonprofits in the U.S. received charitable contributions of $133.82 billion between January and May 2010, an increase of 9.2 percent over the same period in 2009.

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