November 28, 2012

Americans to Maintain Charitable Giving This Holiday Season, Red Cross Finds

Political contributions and disaster relief have not dried up impulse to give

Good news for U.S. nonprofits looking forward to year-end gifts: Charitably inclined Americans have not reached the limits of their charitable giving this year.

According to a survey released Monday by the American Red Cross, 78% of those who gave to Hurricane Sandy relief efforts and 90% of contributors to political causes during the latest election cycle will not reduce their giving to nonprofits this holiday season.

Even so, fewer Americans plan to give to charity in 2012 than in 2011. The survey found that 52% of respondents planned to donate to charity this season, down from 57% the last two years. 

Giving by those who do plan to donate to a nonprofit may also fall short. Whereas 49% of those planning to make donations said they would give more than $50, 46% said they would give less than $50. Last year, 39% of Americans who planned to give said they would give less than $50. 

Other key findings:

  • Fifty-six percent of donors give by putting money aside in a canister or handing money to someone asking for a donation in a public place, 52% mail a check and 21% said they had used a charity’s website to donate over the past 12 months.
  • Fifty-one percent of all donors said they would donate if a friend talked to them personally about a charity.
  • Of social media users polled, 68% said they would take time to learn more about a charity if they saw a friend posting about it; 51% said they would have more respect for a friend who posted about a charitable donation and 39% said they would donate themselves.
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