Despite the bad economy, most Americans still plan to give to charity this holiday season, two surveys have found.
A survey by the American Red Cross found that 57 percent of American adults plan to donate to charity this holiday season. Seventy-two percent of donors expect to give the same amount or more than last year.
But one in five plan to give less than they gave last year. And about a third of the people reducing their giving are not planning to donate at all over the holidays, saying that they just don’t have the money to make a contribution.
The Red Cross’s Holiday Giving Poll, which surveyed 1,005 adults, also found that while women are more likely to give, men say they will donate bigger amounts. Eighty-six percent of women versus 69 percent of men say that helping someone less fortunate is an important holiday tradition. While only a quarter of women say they intend to give more than $100 to charity, 38 percent of men plan to do the same.
Four out of five Americans told the pollsters that charities that help the poor were the No. 1 type of group they plan to support. The next most popular were those that help service members (46 percent) and those that help people with a specific disease (40 percent).
Another just-released poll found similar trends. Half of the 1,044 Americans who responded in the 2010 Holiday Trend Tracker survey said they have already bought or plan to buy a gift that supports a cause this year. Nearly nine in 10 said they want companies they patronize to support charities this holiday season.
How are people planning to give? Many plan to support a company’s in-store gift drive, make a donation at the cash register, or redeem or buy a discount card or coupon that supports a cause.
But less than half of those surveyed plan to support a company’s charitable efforts on social networks, such as voting for a charity to win a donation from the company, passing along its messages on Twitter, or becoming a fan of the company on Facebook.
The top two holiday programs that consumers plan to support this year are the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle campaign (49 percent) and the U.S. Marine Corps’ Toys for Tots drive (47 percent).