Survey: Tax Incentives Most Likely To Influence Giving By Gen X, Men

Generation X and men are most likely to be swayed by tax breaks when it comes to charitable giving. Overall, less than 10 percent of those surveyed said that a tax write-off is the primary reason they donated to charity.

Those are some of the highlights in “Why America Gives: How Current Events, Technology, and Seasonality Impact Donor Plans,” the second part of a two-part survey by San Diego, Calif.-based fundraising platform Classy aimed at measuring end-of-year giving trends before the midterm elections and #GivingTuesday.

The first part of the survey was performed in September.  #GivingTuesday is the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, following Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This year it will fall on Nov. 27.

Almost 60 percent of men said that a lower tax break would cause them to definitely (45 percent) or probably (14 percent) contribute less. About one in five women said they would contribute less (11 percent definitely and 11 percent probably).

Among Gen Xers — born between the mid-1960s and 1980 and approaching their prime giving years — 62 percent said they would give less if they knew they would receive less of a tax break, compared with just 10 percent of Baby Boomers and 6 percent of the Silent Generation. Overall, 42 percent said they would definitely or probably donate less if they received less of a tax incentive; 34 percent said that less of a tax incentive would definitely or probably not make them donate less.

The second survey was conducted from Nov. 7-16 and includes 1,000 American adults. It is focused on whether consumer behavior or sentiments changed based on current events including disasters, tragedies, political events and pop culture moments.

Just about half of U.S. donors (49 percent) plan to donate more money to a charity this year than they did in 2017. The proportion is even higher for households with higher incomes: 74 percent of households earning $100,000 to $150,000, and 85 percent of households earning more than $150,000.

Only one in 10 donors plan to give less this year than they did in 2017.

About half of households that earn $100,000 or less plan to donate the same amount as they did last year, ranging from 47 to 52 percent depending on precise income levels under $100,000.

Half of respondents (49 percent) of respondents believe that Americans are becoming more generous in their support of causes, a notion that’s more popular among men (63 percent) than women (35 percent). One in five (21 percent) overall said Americans are becoming less generous.

Asked if they were to personally win a $1 billion lottery jackpot, would they donate very little of the winnings to a charity, 18 percent of respondents said they would donate 0.01 percent of the winnings; 35 percent said they would donate 10 press or less of their winnings.

As in the pre-midterm election survey, the top three areas to be supported will be disaster relief (40 percent), health-related causes (39 percent) and environment/animals (37 percent). More than half (54 percent) said they have already donated or plan on donating to Hurricane Michael or Florence relief and half (49 percent) have donated or plan to donate to international disaster relief this year.

Voters in the 2018 midterms are twice as likely to donate on Giving Tuesday than non-voters. Only one-third of consumers say the outcome of the midterm elections will influence their plans to donate on Giving Tuesday, while more than half say it will not.

More than half of Americans who voted in 2018 definitely or probably will donate more money than in 2017. More than 50 percent of those who say they voted plan to volunteer time to a charity between now and the end of the year but only a quarter said they did not vote plan to volunteer.

Republicans are more likely than Democrats to change their giving plans based on the election. 44 percent of Republicans and 32 percent of Democrats said the results of the election will influence their giving plans.