A third of Americans plan to give less or no money to charity in 2021

A third of Americans plan to give less or no money to charity in 2021

More than a third of Americans plan to cut back on their charitable giving or not give at all in 2021, a survey conducted by Eagle Hill Consulting finds.

Based on a survey of more than a thousand adults, the 2020 Non-Profit Charitable Giving and Volunteering Survey found that 69 percent of respondents reported that they had given to charity over the last few years, including 59 percent of those between the ages of 18 and 34, 71 percent of those between the ages of 35 and 54, and 75 percent of those 55 and older. When asked about their giving plans for 2021, 35 percent of respondents said they would give less (10 percent) than they did in 2020 or not give at all (25 percent), while 48 percent said they would give about the same and 17 percent said they would give more. Younger respondents between the ages of 18 and 34 said they were more likely to  give more (27 percent) than did those between the ages of 35 and 54 (18 percent) and those age 55 and older (9 percent), but also more likely to not to give at all (29 percent vs. 25 percent and 21 percent).

According to the survey, the top charitable causes Americans plan to support include social services  (34 percent), education (25 percent), religious organizations (22 percent), health (21 percent), COVID-19 relief (20 percent), environment/climate change (20 percent), and racial justice (19 percent). Among respondents between the ages of 18 and 34, the top causes were social services (32 percent), education (31 percent), and racial justice (30 percent), while those age 55 and older were more inclined to support social services (37 percent), religious organizations (31 percent), and medical research (22 percent).

The survey also found that about half of Americans planned to volunteer less (42 percent) or not at all (10 percent) in 2021, with 44 percent saying they did not feel safe volunteering during a pandemic. At the same time, 21 percent of respondents planned to volunteer more in 2021, including 31 percent of those ages 18 to 34, 21 percent of those ages 35 to 54, and 14 percent of those 55 and older. 

"As charitable organizations approach Giving Tuesday and plan for 2021 during a tough economic climate, it will be increasingly important for nonprofit teams to dig deep into the preferences and plans of their donor and volunteer base," said Eagle Hill Consulting president and CEO Melissa Jezior. "Nonprofit teams may need to recalibrate both who and how they are asking for support so that it is more personalized and responsive to the specific preferences and values of their stakeholders."

(Photo credit: Los Angeles Area Food Bank)

"Americans plan less charitable giving according to new Eagle Hill research." Eagle Hill Consulting press release 11/19/2020.