As the nation braces for a continued economic downturn, a new study says Americans are in a less-giving mood for charitable causes.
A new report finds that 35% of Americans expect to donate less or no money to charitable causes in the coming year, up slightly from 2020, according to findings from Eagle Hill Consulting.
Not only will the present trend hurt charitable organizations’ pocketbooks, but it will also cause a knock to the number of volunteers for these charities, with 52% of Americans saying they expect to volunteer less or not at all in the coming year. Interestingly, COVID is on people’s minds, as nearly half of Americans (44 percent) said they do not feel safe volunteering due to health concerns.
There was some good news, however, with younger Americans (aged 18-34) twice as likely to increase their giving and volunteering in the coming year compared to Americans aged 55 and older.
The causes Americans support vary by age, with younger Americans more likely to direct their giving to race and health-related causes. Older Americans (55 and older) tend to give more to religious organizations.
“As charitable organizations plan for Giving Tuesday and 2023 during economic volatility and layoffs, it will be increasingly important for non-profit teams to really understand their donor and volunteer base,” said Liz Schroeder, non-profit industry lead with Eagle Hill Consulting.
“Non-profits may need to re-examine who they are targeting for support and how they are framing their ask so it is responsive to volunteer and donor values and preferences,” she continued.
The top charitable causes Americans plan to support include social services (33%), education (23%), environment/climate change (20%), religious organizations (20%), and health (19%), according to the report.
Younger Americans (aged 18-34) plan to give more money to charitable causes (24%), and 36% plan to give at the same level. Only 12% of older Americans (aged 55 and older) plan to increase their future giving, indicative of how some fixed-income budgets are getting squeezed by inflation.
“In this environment, it will be important to focus on non-profit employees who are engaging with donors and volunteers while leveraging data and technology in new ways. At the same time, many non-profits are facing financial pressures and staffing shortages. Focusing on supporting and developing talent and deploying change management strategies can help non-profits navigate a multitude of pressures into next year and beyond,” Schroeder explained.
Charitable organizations aren’t the only ones feeling the crunch. The Wall Street Journal reported that stressed-out Americans plan to buy fewer Christmas presents this year.
Additionally, Deloitte Consulting’s 37th annual holiday shopping survey suggested that people plan to buy an average of only nine gifts this year, down from 16 last year. Anticipated spending per household is also down from $1,463 a year ago to $1,455. Respondents also plan to spend less time shopping this year than last year.