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Atlas of Giving Raises Donation Forecast for Rest of Year

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Nonprofit organizations can expect donors to be more generous this year—good news for the many groups that have been just holding on.

The latest Atlas of Giving forecast indicates that charitable giving in the U.S. will amount to $401 billion in 2013, compared with $369 billion at the end of 2012, an increase of 8.6%.

This year-end estimate is higher than one issued in April. The report attributed the more optimistic outlook to strong economic performance.

Year-to-date charitable giving nationwide totaled $231 billion at the end of July, an increase of 8.5% from 2012, according to the new monthly report.

Donors gave $34 billion in July, up 1.9% from June, and were expected to contribute about the same amount in August.

The new report said religion would remain the largest giving sector this year, despite a one percentage point drop to 35% overall from 2012.

Education is the next biggest sector at 16%.

Nature/environment, the smallest sector at 2%, will enjoy the sharpest increase in donations in 2013, up 12.7%.