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Sour economy taking heavy toll on philanthropy, survey says.

A two-year financial drubbing has tested the resolve of many Chicago-area foundations and other grantmakers to keep giving until it hurts, and their aggregate philanthropy is expected to drop by 5 percent in 2003, which may be the first such decline in eight years, according to a new survey.

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Many of the area non-profits responding to the survey reported increased demand for their services but lower funding from private and public sources, with some citing the fiscal crisis in Springfield. To meet their budgets, many groups tapped into reserves, cut staff or increased appeals to individual donors.

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