More than half of Americans (54%) are familiar with or at least have heard of Giving Tuesday, according to a new survey. It’s the highest level of awareness since technology firm Classy began conducting its annual report on giving in 2018.
“Why America Gives 2020: How the COVID-19 Pandemic and Social Justice Movement Have Changed Giving” is the third annual report from the San Diego-based fundraising platform.
Almost two in five Americans said they definitely or probably will give more to nonprofits in 2020 than they did in 2019 and for the first time, health causes are at the top of their list because of the pandemic, ahead of disaster relief and education. The survey was conducted in September among 1,000 American adults.
One in four people surveyed said the pandemic has caused them to give more this year compared to 2019. Essential workers (33%) were more likely than nonessential workers (22%) to say they plan to give more as a result of the pandemic. They also were more likely to donate to social justice causes (57% versus 41%).
Disaster relief was the top cause supported by Americans in 2018 and 2019. Some 42% of respondents said they have donated or planned to donate to social justice causes this year, with 58% noting that they were giving for the first time to this type of cause.
More than one-third of Americans said they would donate to organizations that support their political beliefs if their preferred presidential candidate lost.
Virtual fundraising events have become vitally important after the cancelation of most in-person events with 30% of respondents saying they supported or participated in a virtual charity event since the beginning of COVID-19. Of those, three out of five said they donated and/or raised more in the virtual environment than they have for previous in-person events.
“Our goal with this report has always been to help nonprofits better understand their prospective donors heading into the year-end giving season, and this year has presented both unique challenges and opportunities for nonprofits of all sizes to drive greater impact,” said Soraya Alexander, senior vice president of marketing and customer growth at Classy. “Based on the findings, we feel optimistic that Americans will continue to give in this environment because, more than ever, they recognize the enormous societal need and the profound impact of their giving,” she said.