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Fewer than half of Americans who give to charity budget for it

November 13, 2021 – Candid

Fewer than half of Americans who give to charity budget for it

Only 44 percent of Americans who gave to charity in the past twelve months include a line item for charitable donations in their annual budget, a survey on behalf of Vanguard Charitable finds.

Conducted by the Harris Poll, the survey of more than two thousand American adults found that those who actively budget their charitable giving gave, on average, $2,453 over the past year, compared with $355 for those who do not budget at all. Among respondents who donated, 38 percent of those who include charitable donations in their annual budget said they gave more than they did in the previous twelve-month period. By comparison, 22 percent of donors who have an annual budget but do not include charitable donations and 19 percent of donors who do not create an annual budget said they gave more.

According to the survey, 73 percent of all respondents reported making a monetary donation in the past twelve months, and 16 percent of those donors gave more than $1,000. Younger Americans and those approaching retirement age were more likely to have a charitable donation budget: Among those who gave in the past twelve months, those between the ages of 18 and 44 (51 percent) and those between the ages of 55 and 64 (47 percent) were more likely than those between the ages of 45 and 54 (33 percent) and those ages 65 and older (34 percent) to say they include monetary charitable donations in their annual budget.

In addition, the survey found that 27 percent of respondents who gave in the past year were inspired by a personal experience to do so; 24 percent were inspired by current events or news stories; and 22 percent were following a set charitable budget they stick to every year.

“The charitable giving we’ve seen over the past year has been inspiring in the face of devastating circumstances. This survey data underscores that planning and budgeting can help individuals make the biggest charitable impact,” said Vanguard Charitable president Rebecca Moffett. “Philanthropists give for a variety of very personal and important reasons, and at Vanguard Charitable we encourage every donor to build on their motivations by actively planning their impact through the entire year. This mindset shift will turn short-term giving into long-term, sustained impact for nonprofits desperate for consistent support.”

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