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Home arrow Market Research Findings arrow General Finance arrow Despite Recession, Six in Ten Adults Have Given to Charity This Year
Despite Recession, Six in Ten Adults Have Given to Charity This Year PDF Print E-mail
Written by Ipsos   
03 Jan 2011

Eight in Ten Plan to Give Over the Holidays

90% Wish They Were Able to Give More

Though the U.S. is still facing tough economic times, six in ten adults (58%) say that they have already donated to their favorite charity this year, according to a new survey of over 1,000 adults conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs on behalf of Purina One.

* A dramatic age gap emerges, with just 37% of adults under 35 saying that they have donated to charity this year compared to 72% of adults 55 and older.
* Household income is also a significant factor. Those with a household income of at least $50,000 are nearly twice as likely as those who are less affluent to say that they have donated to their favorite charity this year (72% vs. 38%).

Among those who have not contributed, a majority say that they just don’t have the disposable income to do so (59%).

Few say that they have not donated because there isn’t an organization that they feel passionate about (9%) or because they haven’t been asked to donate (7%), and just 1% are confident that others have given so they don’t need to.

Nearly a quarter (23%) blame some other reason.
While a third (34%) say that the recession has made them less likely to donate to charity this year, 13% say that it has made them more likely to give – perhaps because there are more people in need.

Half (52%) say that the recession has not had an impact on the likelihood that they will give to charity this year.

Nearly three quarters (72%) say that even when things are tight, they find a way to contribute to charity. Women are more likely than are men to agree that they find a way to give even in tough times (77% vs. 68%).

* Midwesterners (77%), those aged 55 and older (78%), married adults (78%), and those with a household income of at least $50,000 (79%) are also among those who are most likely to feel this way.

Though most find some way to give, nine in ten adults (90%) agree – including over half who strongly agree (56%) – that they wish they were able to give more to charity.

Perhaps this is because they believe in the power of giving to others; nine in ten adults across demographic groups agree with this sentiment (92% overall).

Though six in ten have already given to charity this year, 79% plan to give to charity in some way during the holiday season, most commonly by donating money (49%), food (38%), toys or gifts (38%), or their time (23%). Just one in five (21%) say that they do not plan on contributing to charity in any of these ways over the holiday season.

* Adults aged 35 and older are more likely than those who are younger to give in general (83% vs. 72%), though they are particularly more likely to give money (56% vs. 32%) or food (43% vs. 28%).
* Women are more likely than men to contribute food (47% vs. 30%) or gifts and toys (47% vs. 28%) during the holidays.

With so many planning on contributing to charity this holiday season, this mirrors the sentiment that the holidays are the best time of year to donate.

Two thirds (68%) agree with this statement while just a third (32%) disagree.

Thinking about the charities they are most likely to support, there is a strong preference for local organizations over national charities (85% vs. 15%). On terms of the type of charity they’d prefer to support, Americans are much more likely to say they would rather donate to a charity that benefits people (83%) than one that benefits pets (17%).

Still, one in six would opt to support a charity that helps pets over one that helps people, including 20% of women and adults under 55.

Looking at a range of causes, charities that help children are most popular this holiday season, with nearly half (45%) saying that they would be most likely to donate money to a children’s cause. Fewer would be most likely to contribute to a charity that focuses on the homeless (23%), veterans (14%), pets (10%) or medical research (9%).

While children’s charities are the top pick across demographic groups, some differences do emerge:

* Adults under 35 (31%) and those with a household income of less than $50,000 (27%) are more likely than others to say they would give to a charity that helps the homeless.
* Retirees (25%), adults 55 and over (20%) and men (18%) are more likely to support veterans’ groups while women (12%) and Northeasterners (15%) tend to be more likely to support charities that help pets.

Regardless of the cause, Americans tend to believe that any contribution can make a difference. When asked how much a charitable donation needs to be to have an impact, 70% said that any amount can make a difference.

One in six (17%) say that a donation should be at least $10; 10% say at least $100; and just 2% say a contribution needs to be at least $250 to have an effect.

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted November 22-28, 2010. For the survey, a national sample of 1,006 adults aged 18 and older from Ipsos’ U.S. online panel were interviewed online.

Quota sampling and weighting were employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the actual U.S. adult population according to U.S. Census data and to provide results that are intended to approximate a probability sample.

An unweighted probability sample of 1,006 respondents, with a 100% response rate, would have an estimated margin of error of +/-3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

About Ipsos
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New York, NY – 21 December 2010

Last Updated ( 03 Jan 2011 )
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