Most people who made contributions to political campaigns and/or Superstorm Sandy relief and recovery efforts still plan on making year-end donations to charitable causes, a new survey from the American Red Cross finds.
Conducted earlier this month, the national survey found that 78 percent of the more than one thousand adult respondents who gave to Sandy recovery programs do not plan to reduce the amount of their year-end charitable giving, while 90 percent of those who contributed to a candidate for federal or state office said they do not plan to cut back on their year-end giving.
At the same time, the annual survey found that fewer Americans plan to give to charity this year, with a little more than half the respondents — 52 percent — saying they plan to give to charity this holiday season, compared to 57 percent who said they planned to give in 2011. Moreover, the average amount respondents say they plan to give looks to be less than the average amount given in recent years, with the survey finding that while 49 percent of those planning to give said they plan to donate more than $50, 46 percent said they plan to give less than $50. Last year, 39 percent of Americans who planned to give to nonprofits said they would give less than $50.
According to research from the Center on Philanthropy at the University of Indiana, disaster relief donations often do not affect holiday gifts to charity — in part because most donations to human service organizations following a natural disaster are modest and are pooled with larger gifts from celebrities and philanthropic institutions.
"I think that during this time of year, people have generous hearts and there is a time period of giving," American Red Cross chief marketing officer Peggy Dyer told USA Today. "Whether that's giving back to the local community, giving back to others, or giving to family and friends, people are often inclined to continue to give."