Charitable donations plunged 11% in 2009, the worst drop in 20 years, a new report has found. The Philanthropy 400, to be released today by the Chronicle of Philanthropy, found that even the country's top charities, such as the United Way and the Salvation Army, were hit hard by the the Great Recession. The findings show "that charities are really having a tough time," a Chronicle editor tells AP.
And those tough times have forced charitable organizations to innovate. The Salvation Army, for instance, aims to improve its digital marketing efforts and has signed an agreement to receive donations by text message. "It's so far out for a Victorian-era conservative organization like us ... kinda freaky," says a rep. "But if we can find a way to cost effectively leverage technology, we're game." (Click here for the latest news on the charitable sector.)