Americans gave nearly $347 billion to charity in 2011

Americans gave a total of nearly $347 billion to charity in 2011, a 7.5 percent increase over 2010, according to a report released Tuesday by Atlas of Giving.

“2011 giving growth was fueled by strong stock market performance through July, low interest rates, an improving economy, modest inflation, and aggressive solicitation” Rob Mitchell, Atlas of Giving CEO, said in a statement. “However, the increase was not enjoyed by all nonprofits. Organizations that rely on many small gifts from many small donors are still greatly impacted by the effects of continuing high unemployment.”