Nearly six inout of ten (57 percent) Americans plan to give to charity between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year, a survey by the American Red Cross finds.
The 2011 Holiday Giving Poll found that 80 percent of respondents said their finances were worse than or the same as a year ago; 71 percent expected to donate more or about the same as they did last year; 26 percent planned to give less; and 36 percent did not plan to give at all, with half of those (49 percent) saying they did not have the money to give.
Conducted in late September and early October, the survey also found that 82 percent of respondents felt that helping someone less fortunate was part of their holiday tradition, while 79 percent said they would rather have a charitable donation made in their honor than receive a gift they would not use. More than two-thirds of respondents (68 percent) said they believed it was important to give to charity because of the economic situation — 10 percentage points higher than in last year's survey.
"Despite the difficult economy Americans want to give to help others in need," said Red Cross president and CEO Gail J. McGovern. "With so many people out of work, they want to give something that means something."