Despite concerns that changes to the tax code will reduce charitable giving, one out of two Americans plan to donate more to charity this year than they did in 2017, a survey conducted by Classy, an online and mobile fundraising platform for nonprofits, finds.
The survey found that 49 percent of respondents said they planned to give more to charity in 2018 than they did in 2017, while only 10 percent said they planned to give less and donors from higher-income households — whose behavior is more likely to be affected by the doubling of the standard deduction — said they were very likely to increase their giving. According to the survey, 74 percent of households earning between $100,000 and $150,000 and 85 percent of those earning more than $150,000 planned to give more to charity this year. In contrast, most respondents from households earning less than $100,000 said they planned to keep their giving at about the same level as last year.
The survey also found that only 10 percent of respondents said a tax deduction was their primary reason for giving, while 42 percent said they would "definitely" or "probably" donate less if they knew they were getting less of a tax break. Among respondents, Gen X was the most motivated by tax considerations, with 62 percent of Gen X respondents saying they would give less if they knew they would receive a smaller tax break — followed by millennials (42 percent), boomers (10 percent), and Silents (6 percent).
In addition, the survey found that disaster relief ranks highest among the causes Americans are most likely to support in 2018 — with 54 percent of respondents saying they have already donated or plan to donate to Hurricane Michael and/or Florence relief efforts and 49 percent saying they have donated or will donate to international disaster relief and recovery efforts — followed by health-related causes and environment/animal welfare-related causes. And despite the divisiveness of the midterm elections, nearly half of respondents said they had faith in their fellow citizens and believe that Americans are becoming more generous in support of issues and causes.
"Giving Tuesday is right around the corner, and it's encouraging to see how many Americans plan to increase their charitable contributions this year," said Scot Chisholm, co-founder and CEO of Classy. "Last year on Giving Tuesday, donations on the Classy platform were up more than 60 percent from the year before. Given this glimpse into both America's plans and our nonprofit customers' beautiful and moving campaigns, we anticipate that this Giving Tuesday will be the most impactful yet."