Election Prompts Donors To Give More

December 15, 2016       Mark Hrywna      

One in four Americans has increased or plans to increase support for nonprofits and charities, with 15 percent coming through donations, as a result of the presidential election.

Millennials (18- to 34-year-olds) and Gen-Xers (35- to 44-year-olds) were twice as likely to increase support as a result of the election than those 45 or older.

The survey of more than 2,000 adults by Harris Poll was conducted online from Nov. 28-30 and commissioned by CARE, an Atlanta, Ga.-based charity that responds to humanitarian crises and fights global poverty by empowering women and girls.

Some 40 percent of those surveyed said they are increasing support because they believe their favorite nonprofit is under threat and a similar percentage view increased support as a way to ensure the U.S. remains engaged in the world. More than half responded it is one way to effect change while almost 30 percent said increased private giving will be needed to replace lost support from the administration. Additional support for charities would come in the form of increased time volunteering (14 percent) and/or advocating (16 percent).

On average, Americans who have or plan to increase monetary donations to a nonprofit as a result of the election said they will increase the amount of money they donate by 31 percent. Among those who typically donate at the end of the year, 31 percent said they have or plan to increase charitable support because of the election, including 22 percent through increased donations.

“No matter which candidate one supports, this exceptionally divisive presidential campaign surfaced the passions of many Americans on issues ranging from immigration and race to the status of women and America’s role in the world,” said CARE CEO Michelle Nunn, who lost a U.S. Senate race in Georgia in 2014. “It is encouraging to see individuals channeling that energy toward causes they care about and groups they believe need their support more than ever,” she said in a press release announcing the survey results.

Half of those surveyed said their increased support will go to children’s charities, followed by organizations that focus on:

  • Women’s reproductive rights/family planning, 35 percent;
  • Environmental protection, 33 percent;
  • Women’s empowerment/women’s rights, 28 percent;
  • Healthcare access, 27 percent;
  • LGBTQ rights, 25 percent;
  • Race relations, 25 percent;
  • International humanitarian aid/global poverty, 24 percent;
  • Other, 23 percent; and,
  • Human trafficking, 20 percent.

CARE is among a number of organizations that have reported increased giving since the election. Giving on care.org is up 38 percent since the election compared to the same period last year. On #GivingTuesday, the organization launched the #DreamWithHer initiative, a holiday gift experience for people who want to support global causes, particularly those related to women and girls and poverty.

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