Economic woes aside, Americans more generous than ever
The data for 2008 won't be available for another year, but it's hard to see how people will keep up the giving growth: the same factors that made people more tentative in 2007 have only gotten worse so far: gas prices, housing, and the economy.
Here's my advice on giving, which may or may not be popular: if you're struggling to make ends meet this year, don't be afraid to cut back on your philanthropy temporarily. If you can't take of yourself, you're no good to anyone else in the long run. Too many Americans don't have anything close to enough in savings for retirement, a burden that will be placed on future generations -- so maybe continuing to fund your own IRA is the most important giving you can do in an economy like this.