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New Study Shows State of Charitable Giving During COVID-19 Pandemic

February 2, 2021 by Sara Wilkerson

A new study from DealAid.org shows that over 70% of Americans have made a donation to charitable organizations in 2020, a near 10% increase from those who donated to charities in 2019. Over 1,100 Americans were surveyed to determine how charitable giving has changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and what possible ramifications the pandemic will have on this year’s donations.  

In DealAid.org’s “State of Charitable Giving In America Amidst COVID-19” study report, there were several key take-aways highlighted by the authors. These include: 

  • 70.8% of Americans donated an average of $348 to charitable organizations in 2020. 
  • Lack of disposable income was the main reason (87.9%) why some Americans did not donate in 2020. 
  • CARES Act’s charitable gift provision influenced 16.5% of individuals to donate more to charity. 
  • Charitable giving is expected to increase by 13.8% or to $396 average donated per individual in 2021. 

While the increase in donation percentages has increased marginally among Americans, donation amounts lessened in dollar value in 2020. 

According to the report, Americans gave a total average of $348 in charitable donations in 2020, a downgrade from the 2019 yearly average of $379.  

Additionally, the report compared the percentage averages of individuals choosing to donate in 2020 versus 2019 and found that individual contributions decreased by 8.2% in 2020 compared to 2019 levels.  

At the same time, for the general charitable giving population in the same comparative time frame, 14.5% more individuals made a donation to charity in 2020 compared to 2019. 

Breaking down the impact of individuals on charitable giving even further, most Americans (66.2%) made a donation to one or two non-profits last year. Meanwhile, 12.5% of individuals reported making donations to three charities and 16.1% of individuals gave to four charities throughout the year last year. 

When it comes to the types of organizations that received donations from Americans, those focused on health care (55.2%), religion (20.3%), education and local communities (both 18.8%) in 2020.  

Looking for possible influences on  Americans’ increased charity giving amounts, researchers asked surveyors if the CARES Act’s $300 additional tax deduction for eligible charity organizations made a difference in their charitable behavior.  

On this front, only 16.5% of Americans said the deduction made a difference, whereas most Americans (83%) said that the deduction did not increase the amount they gave to non-profits. 

While Americans donated in record numbers in 2020, the study also examined reasons why Americans may not have chosen to donate their time and money. 

Among reasons why Americans did not donate to charity, 87.9% of Americans cited “lack of disposable income” as the main reason. “COVID-19” and “Helping Family and Friends” (18.4% and 12.3%, respectively) were cited as secondary reasons.

In spite of the reasons why Americans did not financially donate to charities, volunteering their time became a popular alternative for those who wanted to give back.  

According to the report, 30.1% of Americans volunteered for non-profits last year, averaging a total of 49 hours for the duration of 2020.  

Looking towards 2021, 38.1% of Americans said that they expect to increase the number of hours they volunteer for a non-profit once COVID-19 vaccine is released to the general public. 

In addition to increasing their volunteer hours, 72% of Americans are expecting to make charitable donations this year. Average donation amounts are expected to increase as well by 13.8%, with projections of $396 as the average amount given to non-profits. 

To find out more in-depth details from the study, visit dealaid.org.  

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February 2, 2021
by Sara Wilkerson
New Study Shows State of Charitable Giving During COVID-19 Pandemic

A new study from DealAid.org shows that over 70% of Americans have made a donation to charitable organizations in 2020,... Read More

A new study from DealAid.org shows that over 70% of Americans have made a donation to charitable organizations in 2020, a near 10% increase from those who donated to charities in 2019. Over 1,100 Americans were surveyed to determine how charitable giving has changed due to... Read More

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