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Charitable givers have fish hooks in their pockets

By Dian Vujovich

Oh my. It seems last year wasn’t such a hot one for givers. Big time charitable givers, that is. The total dollar amount donated in 2010 was the tiniest since the year 2000. That’s a decade ago! And nothing to crow about or don a new Valentino for.

According to the The Chronicle of Philanthropy, even the 50+billionaires who said they’d give at least half of their money to charity didn’t cough up much.

Looking just at the numbers, the median money gift in 2010 was $39.6 million, reports The Chronicle. In 2009 it was $41.4 million, $69.3 million in 2008 and $74.4 million in 2007. In fact, last year only nine people gave more that 100 million dollars of their fortunes away to charitable organizations. Looks like the Twopercenters need some lessons in compassion and giving.

The top five donors last year were:

1. George Soros, $332 million

2. Michael R. Bloomberg, $279.2 million

3. T. Denny Sanford, $162.5 million

4. Irwin M. and Joan K. Jacobs, $119.5 million

5. Eli and Edythe L. Broad, $118.3 million

And one of the two tied for the No. 10 slot was Mark Zuckerberg. He donated $100 million.

Now that we’re in the thick of Ball Season, my hope for all the charity events going on locally and nationally is that their respective coffers will reflect the bagillions of dollars made in corporate America and on Wall Street last year. If not, donors ought to be ashamed. After all, nothing has changed regarding our tax structure —for those who give according to how it impacts them on paper. And for those who give from their hearts, well, give more. That just might show others what a delightfully satisfying thing it is to do.

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