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Medical, Kids, Humanitarian Support Fuel Ukraine Giving

One-quarter of Americans surveyed said they’ve donated to charities, either directly or in other forms of aid, in response to the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine after the Russian invasion.

Two-thirds of those who have not donated say they will or may make a donation “in the next few weeks,” according to a new survey from Fidelity Charitable. The survey of 1,006 adults in the U.S. was conducted March 9 on behalf of Fidelity Charitable by Engine Group, an independent research firm.

Among people who have taken action, more than half (54%) have made a donation to a traditional nonprofit working on the ground in Ukraine or nearby countries. About half as many (26%) have given money directly to individuals or families affected by the crisis. Almost four out of five (79%) people surveyed have engaged in some other form of economic support, such as purchasing a product with proceeds benefiting Ukraine, purchasing supplies to send to Ukraine, or supporting a Ukrainian business.

Among donors and those who “plan to donate soon,” primary areas of concern are:

  • Medical support, 60%
  • Children’s issues, 58%
  • Short-term humanitarian aid, 52%

Secondary concerns include more long-term areas of work, including:

  • Rebuilding Ukraine, 33%
  • Providing economic opportunity for refugees, 30%
  • Supporting mental health services, 28%
  • Strengthening democracy, 19%

Donors were split on whether their motivation was rooted in feelings that they were actively helping or in feelings of helplessness in the face of the crisis. About one-third (32%) said they gave because their donation will make a difference, another one-third (31%) donated because they simply weren’t sure what else to do, while the remaining third cited both.

Fidelity Charitable reports more than $2.4 billion in donor-recommend grants so far in 2022, ahead of 2021 by almost one-third (29%). Specifically, recommendations to charities in the international affairs sector has grown by 83%, about $67 million, over the same time period last year, from $80 million to $147 million.

The 14 most popular charities in March were related to Ukraine relief, with the top three receiving support from more than 1,900 donor-advised funds in the first two weeks of March:

  • World Central Kitchen
  • Doctors Without Borders USA
  • U.S. Fund for UNICEF

Among those who have not yet made a monetary donation, 34% said they definitely would not give while 18% plan to do so and 48% said they might but aren’t sure yet. 

Among those who do not plan to donate or aren’t sure, there is concernnthat their donation will reach intended recipients (29%), that they want to know more about how their donation will be used (26%), or not sure where to donate (16%). Many respondents also report feeling economic pressures in their own lives that leaves less discretionary income available for donations.

The full report can be viewed here.

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