Big Players Reel in Charity Spending

Drop-off in corporate giving leaves groups scrambling
By Sarah Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 25, 2008 12:14 PM CST
Big Players Reel in Charity Spending
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation said this week that it would slow giving next year.   (AP Photo)

Charities used to getting much of their money from major corporations and private foundations are feeling the economic downturn, the Wall Street Journal reports. Bill Gates’ foundation plans to give fewer grants next year, and other large donors are honoring existing pledges but refusing to make new ones. “You can’t give what you haven’t got,” said AIG’s former CEO, a major donor.

Overall, foundation endowments are down about $200 billion since last fall, a lobbying group reports. Gala fundraisers, a staple of New York’s charity scene, aren’t faring much better. Events—the ones that aren’t canceled—are raising far less than previous years. “I’ve never seen donations down this much before,” said the head of Tomorrows Children’s Fund, which scrapped its gala this month. (More nonprofit stories.)

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