The majority of American donors plan to maintain their level of charitable giving in the fourth quarter, despite the volatile market and economic conditions, The Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund said Tuesday in a statement announcing the results of a new survey.
In addition to the 55% of survey respondents who plan to maintain their level of donations, 8% of respondents said they would give more than in past years because the need for help is more acute. The survey encompassed donors who will give $200 or more in 2010.
The statement noted that the last three months of the year, known in the philanthropy world as the "Giving Season," are a critical fundraising period for many nonprofit organizations.
The survey found that while the majority of American donors will not change their habits this Giving Season, 36% said they are giving less than in past years because of financial limitations (30%) or the uncertain tax climate (6%). However, 88% of these say they are still making it a priority to give.
"There's no denying that it's been a challenging year for many Americans," Sarah C. Libbey, president of the Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund, said in the statement. "Priorities and pocketbooks are stretched, while the call for charitable giving is greater than ever. Yet, it is clear that Americans are deeply committed to giving — whether money or time — to the causes they care about, and that this commitment endures through both good and challenging times."
According to the survey, the 36% of Americans who plan to give less this year are split on how they are cutting back. Forty-eight percent of this group said they are giving less to all their causes, while most of the rest said they will reduce or eliminate donations for some causes.
The survey also found that two-thirds of donors who are giving less this year are considering making other types of donations instead of cash. Nearly 60% said they would give their time and skills, and 21% will give other assets, such as cars or antiques.