I was checking some facts about giving in the US for my book this morning and I found a press release issued September 19, 2008 from Giving USA Foundation about the impact of recession on giving levels.  It stated,”What really happens to charitable giving when the economy is roiling? A new report from Giving USA Foundation examines the topic from the aspect of past recessions and economic slowdowns, and discovers that while there is an impact on giving, it’s not as dire as conventional wisdom would assume.

“When the economy is uncertain, as it is in 2008, non-profits and others naturally assume the one sector that will be heavily impacted is philanthropy,” said George C. Ruotolo Jr., CFRE, chair of Giving Institute: Leading Consultants to Non-Profits and past chair of Giving USA Foundation. “With history as our guide, we know that’s not true. In fact, while charitable giving is impacted by recessions and/or economic slowdowns, it’s not by nearly as much as one might expect.”

Read the whole release and see what you think.  Of course, this was issued before the big slide on Wall Street…so I wonder if it will still hold true?  At Denver’s Two Percent Club event this week, business leaders certainly were concerned that the 40 percent reduction in foundation assets due to recent Wall Street events would significantly impact their ability to give in future years.