The amount of money donated to charity has been inching up in recent years, but a new report finds that Americans still aren't giving as generously as they were before the recession began.
U.S. giving to charities totaled $316.23 billion in 2012, according to a report prepared by the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University and released this week by Giving USA.
After adjusting for inflation, that's a 1.5 percent increase from 2011—but an 8 percent decline from 2007, the year the nation went into recession. The figures are in 2012 dollars.
The recession officially ended in 2009, but the economic recovery has been slow and unstable in the years since. Experts say that has meant that Americans across the economic spectrum have been hesitant to return to their pre-recession giving levels.
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Patrick Rooney, the associate dean of Indiana University's school of philanthropy, said he thinks Americans still value giving to charity as much as in the past, but they just may not have as much to give.