According to an article published by Giving USA in June of 2019, charitable giving in the United States increased between 2017 and 2018 by 0.7%, going from $424.74 billion to $427.71 billion. The same study stated that while dollars donated increased, the percentage of people who gave decreased from 70% to 68%.
We went to our proprietary membership panel via PointClub and asked them about their personal charitable giving habits. While we didn’t ask them to share the monetary values of their donations, we did ask whether they gave or not. And if they did, where did their donations go. We should clarify that we bundled charitable contributions to reflect any commodity, whether it be funds, materials, or personal time and effort.
What we learned first is that our panelists are a philanthropic group. Over 77% of respondents stated they had given in some form to a charitable cause or organization; well above the reported national average. Giving to two or more charities was definitely the norm.
Respondents made it clear that often their choice for gifts of money, goods, or time went to their local community which might include food pantries and homeless shelters, with over 50% saying such places would be the recipient of their giving. Second most, respondents gave to medical charities either for the study and cure of a particular disease or to an organization such as a specific hospital. Common belief is that those who make charitable donations often choose their recipients because they see the need and want to see the result of giving. Most contributions to medical causes are born from either the donor or someone close to the donor being directly affected by the disease they wish to eradicate.
Donors tend to gift where they see the need the most. The least common type of recipient, other than unspecified, was arts & culture support. One interpretation of this trend is that while art is important, a charitable donation to a life-supporting organization has more impact.
Whatever their reasons may be, and whatever means they use to give, it warmed our hearts here at InnovateMR to know how philanthropic our panel chooses to be.
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