Giving Surveys Offer Dim Forecast for Holiday Season

How much will Americans give during the holiday season?

Press release after press release issued by big charities and companies trumpet surveys showing that most Americans plan to give this year, despite the tough economy.

But few of the studies offer much consolation for charities hoping for a big year-end lift. In fact, they offer a pretty gloomy window into giving trends.

More than a third of charities have seen giving drop in the first nine months of the year,