Source: Dunham & Company

Two-thirds of Donors Plan to Cut Back On Charitable Giving Due to Economic Woes

Study shows another 10 percent will stop giving completely

With the volatility of the U.S. stock market, concerns over the debt ceiling, continued high unemployment and the lower U.S. credit rating, nearly 7 in 10 Americans (68 percent) say they will give more sparingly to charity in the coming months, according to a new study conducted by Campbell Rinker on behalf of Dunham+Company. Another 1 in 10 plans to stop giving altogether until the economy gets back on track.

View the complete study findings (PDF download).

Even though donors are likely to decrease the amount they give, charities can anticipate that individuals loyal to their cause will continue to give, as nearly 8 in 10 donors (78 percent) say they intend to keep financially supporting the charities they have in the past. This is especially true of donors ages 40 to 59, a key demographic, as well as those younger than 40.

Charities will find gaining new donors to be especially challenging as only 2 in 10 respondents (22 percent) said they would consider providing gifts to organizations they have never before supported. The study shows that the more people feel as if the economy is in decline, the more they are unwilling to support another charity. Older donors are extremely skittish about the economy and less willing to take on a new cause. Nearly 9 in 10 people older than 60 are less willing to support a new cause (86 percent) compared to just 64 percent of donors younger than 40.

Nearly 9 in 10 online donors (85 percent) say they will continue to assist the causes they have supported in the past, compared to only 71 percent of those who don’t give online. And those who donate online are nearly twice as likely to begin supporting another charity, compared to donors who do not give online (28 percent vs. 15 percent).

The study paints a brighter picture for houses of worship, as 95 percent of those who regularly attend religious services plan to continue giving, with one-third of that group indicating they are more willing to give in the coming months. In fact, those in this group are four times more likely to cut back on other expenses to continue donating compared to those who don’t attend religious services, and twice as likely to say that giving will be among the last of their expenses to be cut.

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