Nearly Six in Ten Plan to Give to Charity This Holiday Season, Survey Finds

According to a survey by the American Red Cross, nearly six in ten Americans (57 percent) plan to donate to charity between Thanksgiving and the end of the year.

The 2010 Holiday Giving Poll found that of those planning to give to charity this holiday season, 57 percent said they would give more than $50, up from 25 percent in 2009. The survey also found that 78 percent of respondents said that helping someone less fortunate was an important part of the holiday tradition for them, while 58 percent said that because of the economy, it was more important to give to charity this year.

Conducted in late October, the survey found that almost a quarter (23 percent) of respondents said they planned to give less than they did last year, while 32 percent were not planning on making any charitable donations over the holidays; half (52 percent) of those said they didn't have the money to donate. In addition, the survey found that more than half of those polled (53 percent) agreed that a good way to boost charitable giving was to ask others to donate to charity instead of buying gifts.

"The tough economy is causing more and more people to seek help from the Red Cross and other nonprofits at a time where it is generally more difficult to raise money," said the organization's president and CEO, Gail J. McGovern. "Despite the difficult economy, charitable giving remains important to Americans during the holidays."