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Americans plan less charitable giving and volunteerism according to new Eagle Hill Consulting research

Arlington, Va., November 21, 2022 – As Giving Tuesday approaches, new research finds 39 percent of Americans expect to donate less or no money to charitable causes in the coming year as the economic downturn continues, up slightly from 2020. About half of Americans say they expect to volunteer less or not at all in the coming year.

Graphic: 4 in 10 Americans expect to donate less money or no money to charitable causes in the coming year

Eagle Hill Consulting’s research also indicates some demographics, however, plan to increase their donations and volunteerism. Younger Americans (aged 18-34), for example, are twice as likely to increase their giving in the coming year as compared to Americans aged 55 and older. More younger Americans are also planning to increase their volunteerism in the coming year than Americans aged 35 and older.

The causes Americans support also vary by age. Younger Americans are more likely to direct their giving to racial justice and health-related causes while older Americans (55 and older) are more inclined to give to religious organizations.

These findings are contained in the Eagle Hill Consulting 2022 Non-Profit Charitable Giving and Volunteering Survey conducted by Ipsos in November 2022. The survey included 1,005 respondents from a random sample of people across the U.S.

“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.”

Chart showing charitable causes Americans plan to support by age

“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.

The Eagle Hill Consulting research finds:

  • Thirty-nine percent of Americans will donate less money or no money than they did last year to charitable causes.
  • Younger Americans (aged 18-34) plan to give more money to charitable causes (24 percent), and 36 percent plan to give at the same level. In contrast, only 12 percent of older Americans (aged 55 and older) plan to increase their future giving.
  • The top charitable causes Americans plan to support include social services (33 percent); education (23 percent); environment/climate change (20 percent); religious organizations (20 percent); and health (19 percent).
  • The causes for support vary of by age. The top causes younger Americans (age 18-34) plan to support include social services (34 percent), education (29 percent), health (27 percent), and racial justice (24 percent) causes. Older Americans also plan to support social services (36 percent) and education (21 percent), but plan to give to religious (29 percent), and medical research (20 percent) causes.
  • Nearly half (49 percent) of Americans do not plan to volunteer or will volunteer less next year. However, 34 percent of respondents aged 18-34 plan to volunteer more time next year than this year, compared to 14 percent for those aged 55 and older.

Eagle Hill Consulting LLC is a woman-owned business that provides unconventional management consulting services in the areas of Strategy & Performance, Talent, and Change. The company’s expertise in delivering innovative solutions to unique challenges spans across the private, public, and non-profit sectors. A leading authority on employee sentiment, Eagle Hill is headquartered in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, with employees across the U.S. and offices in Boston and Seattle. More information is available at www.eaglehillconsulting.com.

Media Contact:  Susan Nealon | 703.229.8600 | snealon@eaglehillconsulting.com | @WeAreEagleHill