Remember the predictions that higher taxes would lead to less giving by the wealthy?
Well, they may have been wrong. In fact, looming tax hikes may have increased gifts in 2012.
The annual Giving USA report released this week showed charitable giving rose 3.5 percent last year, to $316.23 billion, an all-time record that surpassed the high-water mark of $311 billion in 2007 before the financial crisis. However, when adjusted for inflation, the 2012 total is still well below the 2007 total, which would be $344.5 billion in today's dollars.
Still, giving is higher despite predictions that it would take a hit as tax rates rose.
Giving by individuals rose 4 percent to $228.9 billion—the slowest percentage growth since 2009. The study said giving by individuals who itemize their gifts represented 81 percent of the total donated by individuals. Giving by bequest fell slightly, with itemized estates accounting for most the total.
(Read More: Buffett, Gates: How Giving May Be Hurt)