The Chronicle of Philanthropy reports that large charitable donations are on the rise

SEATTLE (AP).- Money donated by the nation’s most chartable people is starting to catch up with pre-recession giving, thanks in part to some very large bequests from a few donors. The Chronicle of Philanthropy reports Monday in its annual report of the nation’s most generous people that the top 50 donors made pledges in 2011 to give a total of $10.4 billion. The donors gave a total of $3.3 billion in 2010, the smallest total since The Chronicle began tracking the biggest donors in 2000. A decade ago, the top 50 givers gave $12.5 billion. Two people are conspicuously absent from the top 50 list this year: Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. That’s because the Chronicle doesn’t include payments on gifts promised in past years in its spreadsheet of top givers. Both Gates and Buffett made large payments on past pledges in 2011. It