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400 biggest charities in U.S. received $25.9 billion in '96

Americans donated $25.9 billion last year to the 400 largest charities in the nation, according to a survey listing the Salvation Army as the biggest recipient for a fifth straight year.

The Salvation Army raised $1 billion in 1996, up from $741.7 million a year earlier, the Chronicle of Philanthropy reported Monday in its annual survey. The list ranks organizations receiving the most private donations. Charities on the Philanthropy 400 list received about $1 out of every $6 donated to charity nationwide.

Donations to the Salvation Army far outpaced those to the American Red Cross, which ranked second with its collections of $479.9 million. The American Cancer Society came in third by raising $426.7 million.

Emory University vaulted 50 notches to place among the top 10 for the first time. It ranked fourth after raising $415.4 million, becoming the leading college fund-raiser.