Although most Americans plan to continue to support their favorite charities this holiday season, more than two-fifths say they will not contribute to other organizations they have supported in the past or new ones, likely leading to a softening of support for charities, based on a recent Campbell Rinker/Dunham+Company national study of donors.
The study asked donors what they intend to give compared to last year in four categories:
- Their favorite charities;
- Charities they’ve supported in the past but not their favorite charity;
- Houses of worship; and
- Charities they have never supported before.
Almost 8 out of 10 donors (79 percent) say they will give the same as last holiday season to their favorite charities. However, about 1 in 6 donors (15 percent) say they will reduce their giving and only 6 percent say they will give more.
When it comes to supporting charities that are not their favorite, but they have supported before, 42 percent of donors say they will be pulling back on their giving compared to last year. The outlook is even worse for charities that donors have never supported before, as nearly 1 out of 2 donors (46 percent) say that compared to last year, they are less likely to support charities they have never supported before.
Even houses of worship can expect a decrease in giving, as 23 percent of donors say they will give less to the place they worship than last year. One bright spot is that those who frequent services (defined as “almost weekly or more”) indicate they will more likely increase giving rather than decrease (16 percent compared to 12 percent).
Donors indicate that there are four major reasons they will pull back on giving this holiday season compared to last year: health care costs (36 percent), their personal financial situation (35 percent), uncertainty over the economy (34 percent) and the prospect of the “fiscal cliff” (32 percent).
“The ongoing concerns over the economy and its impact on the personal financial situation that many donors face is clearly continuing to take a toll on charitable giving,” said Rick Dunham, President+CEO of Dunham+Company.
“This is a real concern as many, if not most, charities rely on the final month of the year for the largest portion of their financial support. And with annual charitable giving here in the U.S. still $12 billion below 2007 levels, and no real recovery so far this year, this is not an encouraging sign for nonprofits as they head into these final and vital weeks of fundraising for 2012.”
The Dunham+Company study was part of a Campbell Rinker Donor Confidence Survey conducted Nov. 13-17, 2012 among 458 U.S. adult donors who had given at least $20 in the previous year. The online responses were weighted by age to reflect the general U.S. population per the 2010 census. The margin of error is plus or minus 4.6 percent at the 95 percent confidence level.