The Giving USA Foundation (GUSA Foundation) was founded in 1985 and is considered to be "the gold standard' when it comes to identifying trends and determining charitable giving data within the US. Their mission is to advance the research, education and public understanding of philanthropy. In June 2009 the GUSA Foundation released its findings for calendar year 2008 and said that educational donations were down 9% from 2007.

With respect to the giving picture for 2009, to no ones surprise, the GUSA Foundation reported that benefactors are depending on donations while the US economy sees both continued stressors and faint signs of recovery.

A few recent news articles can be read below.

Alumni giving down by 15%
April 20, 2009
Gifts from alumni have dropped 15 percent from last financial year but have weathered the financial crisis better than the University's overall private donation total, which is down 23 percent so far, said Peter Vaughn, executive director of Alumni and Development Communications. Read more...
Divinity School Donations Drop
March 26, 2009
In the grips of the deepest recession since 1930, the Yale Divinity School is asking alumni — themselves feeling the pinch — to buck up the school’s lagging fundraising targets and sustain dreams of broader financial aid. Read more...
Gifts to Colleges Fall After Record Highs
February 24, 2009
Gifts to colleges and universities broke all records in 2008, but began to decline as the recession deepened, and will most likely continue to do so for the next two years, according to a survey by the Council for Aid to Education. Read more...
A Bigger Piece of the Alumni Pie
March 2, 2007
Colleges and universities are increasingly using math to try to buck a nationwide decline in the percentage of graduates who donate, in hopes of improving their standing with ratings publications and charitable foundations. Read more...
Fewer Alumni Give to College
November 18, 2005
The percentage of Harvard alumni who donate to the College has declined steadily since 2001 and hit a 16-year low last fiscal year, according to data provided by the University. Read more...