Giving increases for some sectors, not for others

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The contents of a specially prepared box of food at a food bank distribution in Petaluma, Calif., part of a research project with Feeding America to try to improve the health of diabetics in food-insecure families.

The contents of a specially prepared box of food at a food bank distribution in Petaluma, Calif., part of a research project with Feeding America to try to improve the health of diabetics in food-insecure families. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

NEW YORK (AP) — A new report finds charitable giving to social service and church groups, which tends to depend on middle class donors, is flat while institutions like universities, hospitals and the arts are swimming in cash from their usually wealthy benefactors.

The Giving USA report says Americans gave an estimated $335.17 billion to charity in 2013, up 3 percent from 2012 after adjustment for inflation.

But a closer look reflects the nation’s widening wealth gap. Adjusted for inflation, giving was up 7.4 percent for education, 6.3 percent for the arts and humanities, and 4.5 percent for health organizations. Giving to religious groups declined by 1.6 percent and giving to social service groups rose by only 0.7 percent.

During and immediately after the recession, some wealthy donors shifted their giving to social service groups, but now, many are refocusing on higher education, the arts and other sectors.

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