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Charities face a sobering environment for charitable giving this holiday season despite their perceptions that the giving climate improved slightly since last summer, according to the latest Philanthropic Giving Index (PGI) released today by the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University.

Despite some longstanding perceptions that people in different regions of the United States are more or less motivated to give to charity based on differing underlying values that might be specific to a region, a new analysis by the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University has revealed that regional trends and values have less of an impact on donor motivation than income and education do.

Donors to charitable organizations give more when they are asked in person and when someone they know makes the request, a new study commissioned by Chicago-based consulting firm Campbell & Company and conducted by the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University finds.

Kansas Citians can cite statistical proof that this community is indeed generous. The recently released Giving in Kansas City study reports that charitable giving by Kansas City-area donors totaled an estimated $2.15 billion in 2007.