Every two years, the UK has a fundraising drive, with the complicity of the BBC and many companies, in order to support the needy across the world (and in the UK). It's called Red Nose Day.
And, every two years, there's a big fuss made about how this time people have raised even more money than they did the last time, and how generous people are.
Of course, the British Pound, in common with most currencies, loses value over time (the phenomenon called "inflation"). As a result, it wouldn't be surprising if people seemed to be giving "more" over time, even if the value of what they gave remained constant (or decreased more slowly than inflation devalues the Pound).
So, in the interests of sanity, here's the inflation-adjusted values of Red Nose Day donations, since 2001. The raw values in £ are from Wikipedia's Red Nose Day page (and I start at 2001, since that's when Wikipedia starts listing the total money collected when donations stopped, rather than the total donated by the end of the Red Nose Day itself). The values for inflation adjusted Pounds Sterling were produced by http://www.measuringworth.com/ppoweruk/ , using the Average Earnings method (since it seems reasonable to judge people's donations in terms of the amount they earn, rather than the cost of items).
I include the estimated population in each year (as determined by the World Bank) as an indicator of the degree of population growth. If population goes up, the amount each person needs to donate to match the previous event drops.
2001 - £61m
Inflation adjusted (2009): £79m
2003 - £61.5m
Inflation adjusted (2009): £74.6m
2005 - £63m ?
Inflation adjusted (2009): £70.4m
2007 - £67m
Inflation adjusted (2009): £69.3m
2009 - £82m
So, we conclude that between 2001 and 2007, people progressively donated less to Red Nose Day, only rebounding in 2009 with an unprecedented amount. We don't know how much, in total, the 2011 Red Nose Day will earn yet - but when people claim it's the biggest ever yet, bear in mind the salient lesson of the history of the event. Even when people look like they're giving more, sometimes they're really giving less...