America's most-generous donors contributed a total of $4.3-billion to charity last year, a sharp drop from 2004, when the top donors gave more than $10-billion, a new Chronicle survey has found. For the first time since 1998, no gifts of $1-billion or more were donated to charitable causes.
The median amount the donors on the list gave in 2005, including pledges, was $32.5-million, meaning that half gave more and half gave less. In 2004, the median was $40.8-million. On this year's list of big donors, higher education received by far the largest share of gifts — 44 — than any other category, followed by 18 gifts to hospitals and medical centers.