Study Provides Snapshot Of Early Pandemic Giving

Single women were more likely than single men and married/partnered couples to decrease their giving as a result of specific elements of the COVID-19 pandemic during the initial months of the crisis. And, giving was more likely to decrease than increase from members of households as a result of conditions present during the early months of the pandemic, such as uncertainty about the spread of the virus and further economic impacts.

This is some of the data from the new report “COVID-19, Generosity, and Gender: How Giving Changed During the Early Months of a Global Pandemic,” from the Women’s Philanthropy Institute at Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University.

Other notable takeaways from the report include:

  • Roughly one-third of U.S. households gave directly to charitable organizations, individuals, or businesses in response to the COVID-19 pandemic during the initial months of the crisis;
  • Nearly half of households gave indirectly in response to the pandemic during the early months of the crisis, for example, by ordering takeout to support restaurants and their employees, or continuing to pay individuals and businesses for services they could not render; and,
  • The majority of U.S. households’ giving stayed the same during the initial months of the COVID-19 pandemic but those who reported changes were more likely to say their giving decreased rather than increased as a result of the crisis.

Record-high unemployment rates coupled with the fall of financial markets caused a sudden, severe economic downturn in the U.S. and across the globe, according to the report authors. As a result, scores of Americans struggled to make ends meet. The COVID-19 pandemic also required that fundraisers be extremely sensitive to the health, financial, and other challenges Americans were facing when requesting donations. “These circumstances combined to create an unprecedented environment for charitable giving during the initial months of the pandemic in the U.S.,” according to the authors.

The report offers a snapshot of how U.S. households responded to the COVID-19 pandemic through philanthropy. Beyond examining whether and how much households contributed, the report explores the types of philanthropy in which they participated and how their charitable giving changed. The study also pinpoints the effect of specific elements of the crisis on their giving. Finally, to provide a more nuanced picture of philanthropic responses to the pandemic, the report highlights differences across household types, with a particular focus on gender and marital status

To obtain a copy of the report, go to https://bit.ly/32azGKT