Sixty-two percent of Americans reported engaging in some kind of charitable activity within the past 12 months, and 43% said they had done so in the preceding four weeks, according to new research by Charities Aid Foundation.
People 55 and older were likelier than other age groups to have done some charitable activity within the past year, as were those with household incomes of $80,000 or more.
The report was based on data collected through 1,118 online interviews conducted by YouGov in July.
According to the survey, 47% of Americans gave money to a nonprofit group in the past 12 months, 37% to a church or other religious organization and 33% to a person or family in need. The typical donation was $100.
A recent study examined why donors who want to give more often do not.
Another 33% of respondents in the CAF study donated food to a nonprofit or religious group, 24% volunteered for a religious organization, 23% volunteered for a nonprofit and 23% sponsored someone for charity.
Among those who volunteered, 33% said they did so for religious organizations, 22% to help the poor and 16% to support homeless people. Only 2% said they supported overseas aid and mental health care through volunteering.
Supporting religious organizations/churches was the most popular cause among U.S. donors, with 37% having given to this category. Thirty-two percent helped the poor through donations, and 27% supported children, including orphans, those who are seriously ill and those with disabilities.
Way down the list at 3% each were these causes: preservation of cultural heritage, community development and urban environment, improving access to education, anti-corruption initiatives and supporting scientific research.