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Charities of Choice - US - March 2009

Reports of reductions in charitable donations by reputable charities have become common, yet historical data indicate that while recession does impact the level of charitable giving, charities are more resilient than one may think. Given the fact that Americans will continue to give but are likely to donate less and be more discerning in their choices, it is especially important for charities and the corporations that work closely with them to examine giving from the consumer’s standpoint.

This, together with analysis of trends in giving and promotion, will provide readers with some of the critical tools they need to optimize their fundraising efforts and compete effectively for funds with other organizations.

More specifically, this report examines the following questions:

  • How has recession traditionally impacted charitable giving and how is it likely to impact giving?
  • What macro-economic factors are impacting donor decision-making and how?
  • What psychological factors are driving individual decisions about donating?
  • What are some of the attitudinal and lifestyle differences between donors and non-donors and how can these differences be leveraged to optimize fundraising efforts?
  • What sources of information have the most influence on individual decisions about charities?
  • How do people research charities?
  • What themes are being emphasized in advertisements for charities?
  • What marketing innovations and trends are especially important to non-profits and why?
  • What demographic groups and lifestyle segments make the most donations and which make the least?

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
        • Data sources
          • Consumer survey data
            • Sales data
              • Abbreviations and terms
                • Abbreviations
                • Executive Summary

                    • Market size and forecast
                      • Segment performance
                        • Macro-level drivers of charitable giving
                          • Psychographic drivers of charitable giving
                            • Incidence of charitable giving in U.S.
                              • Who Americans donate to
                                • Average annual donations
                                  • How donors learn about charities
                                    • How donors research charities
                                      • Advertising and promotion
                                        • Race and ethnicity
                                        • Insights and Opportunities

                                          • Disaster is arguably the most powerful driver of charitable giving in the U.S.
                                            • Tapping into the social networks of current donors may be the best way to increase donations
                                              • Strategically use social media tools to improve viral marketing efforts
                                                • Communications that synthesize facts with positive emotional experiences can be powerful
                                                  • Challenging the dominance of religious groups: Leverage science and local impact
                                                  • Inspire Insights

                                                    • Universal Uncertainty
                                                      • What is it all about?
                                                        • What we’ve seen
                                                          • Implications
                                                            • Influentials
                                                              • What is it all about?
                                                                • What we’ve seen
                                                                  • Implications
                                                                  • Market Size and Forecast

                                                                    • Key points
                                                                      • Non-profit sector is resilient but suffering as a result of recession
                                                                          • Figure 1: Total charitable U.S. donations from all sources, in current dollars, 2003-13
                                                                          • Figure 2: Total charitable U.S. donations from all sources, in inflation-adjusted prices, 2003-13
                                                                      • Competitive Context

                                                                        • Key points
                                                                          • Skyrocketing gas prices in 2008 drove down disposable income and the ability to donate
                                                                            • Figure 3: Trended U.S. retail gas prices, average of all grades and formulations, 2001-08
                                                                        • Segment Performance

                                                                          • Key points
                                                                            • Contributions by individuals are by far the largest source of charity
                                                                              • Figure 4: Segment performance for U.S. charitable donations, in current dollars, 2003-13
                                                                              • Figure 5: U.S. charitable donations in current dollars, by segment, 2005 and 2007
                                                                          • Segment Performance—Individuals

                                                                              • Figure 6: Charitable U.S. donations from individuals, in current dollars, 2003-13
                                                                          • Segment Performance—Private Foundations

                                                                              • Figure 7: Charitable U.S. donations from foundations, in current dollars, 2003-13
                                                                          • Segment Performance—Bequests

                                                                              • Figure 8: Charitable U.S. donations from bequests, in current prices, 2003-13
                                                                          • Segment Performance—Corporations

                                                                              • Figure 9: Charitable U.S. donations from corporations, in current prices, 2003-13
                                                                          • Drivers of Charitable Giving: A macro perspective

                                                                            • Key points
                                                                              • Increases in the number of high-net-worth individuals help drive growth of charitable giving
                                                                                  • Figure 10: Number of households with a net worth of $1 million or greater, 2003-07
                                                                                • Median household incomes growing fastest in Asian segment
                                                                                  • Figure 11: Median household income, by race of householder, 1997-2007
                                                                                • Consumer confidence is key driver of decreased giving
                                                                                  • Figure 12: Consumer sentiment index, 2001-08
                                                                                • Sharp drops in the Dow and real estate prices serve to drive down charitable giving
                                                                                  • Figure 13: Dow Jones Industrial’s quarterly observations, 2001-08
                                                                              • Drivers of Charitable Giving: A psychographic perspective

                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                  • Among individuals, lack of confidence in the economy likely to have an even greater impact than actual drop in earnings
                                                                                    • Figure 14: Reasons for donating less than previous year, by gender, December 2008
                                                                                  • Obama’s call to action driving increases in giving, especially among men
                                                                                    • Figure 15: Reasons for donating more than previous year, by gender, December 2008
                                                                                  • Compared to non-donors, donors are more likely to appreciate transparency, persistence and respect among peers
                                                                                      • Figure 16: Psychographics—contributor vs. non contributor, April 2007-June 2008
                                                                                    • Volunteering opportunities and family important to most donors
                                                                                      • Figure 17: Attitudes about money, work and family—contributor vs. non contributor, April 2007-June 2008
                                                                                    • Donors more likely to be green; seek eco-friendly packaging
                                                                                      • Figure 18: Recycling attitudes—contributor vs. non contributor, April 2007-June 2008
                                                                                    • Donors more likely to prefer high-quality goods
                                                                                      • Figure 19: Attitudes about quality of goods—contributor vs. non contributor, April 2007-June 2008
                                                                                    • Nature, music and exercise all have high appeal to donors
                                                                                      • Figure 20: Attitudes toward nature, music and fitness—contributor vs. non contributor, April 2007-June 2008
                                                                                    • Maintaining emotional connection with high-net-worth individuals can help charities in times of recession
                                                                                      • Emotional benefit key driver of giving
                                                                                        • Figure 21: Attitudinal drivers of charitable contributions, by contributor vs. non-contributor, December 2008
                                                                                        • Figure 22: Secondary attitudes about charitable contributions campaigns, by contributor vs. non-contributor, December 2008
                                                                                    • Incidence of Charitable Giving Among U.S. Households

                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                        • Charitable giving has remained steady in recent years, despite the economy
                                                                                          • Figure 23: Trended overall charitable contribution in the last 12 months, 2002-08
                                                                                        • Baby Boomers and affluents more likely to report donations
                                                                                          • Figure 24: Made a contribution in the last 12 months, by age, April 2007-June 2008
                                                                                          • Figure 25: Made a contribution in the last 12 months, by income, April 2007-June 2008
                                                                                        • Most respondents anticipate giving the same amount next year as they did in the previous year
                                                                                          • Figure 26: Expected charitable donation compared to previous year, by age, December 2008
                                                                                          • Figure 27: Expected charitable donation compared to previous year, by income, December 2008
                                                                                      • Who Americans donate to

                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                          • Older Americans more likely to give locally; young adults more likely than others to think globally
                                                                                            • Figure 28: Type of charity preferred to donate to, by age, December 2008
                                                                                          • Religious organizations receive the most donations
                                                                                              • Figure 29: Trended type of charitable contribution in the last 12 months, 2002-08
                                                                                            • Children’s causes have especially broad appeal to U.S. donors
                                                                                                • Figure 30: Charity categories, by age, December 2008
                                                                                              • Religious organizations
                                                                                                • Figure 31: Trended U.S. charitable donations for religious organizations in constant prices, 2001-07
                                                                                                • Figure 32: Religious contributions in the last 12 months, by income, April 2007-June 2008
                                                                                              • Educational institutions
                                                                                                • Figure 33: Trended U.S. charitable donations for educational organizations, in constant prices, 2001-07
                                                                                                • Figure 34: Educational contributions in the last 12 months, by income, April 2007-June 2008
                                                                                              • Human service organizations
                                                                                                • Figure 35: Trended U.S. charitable donations for human services organizations, in constant prices, 2001-07
                                                                                                • Figure 36: Social welfare contributions in the last 12 months, by income, April 2007-June 2008
                                                                                            • Comparison of average annual donations to major recipient categories

                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                              • Highest annual average donation by individuals goes to religious groups and others that directly aid the needy

                                                                                                    • Figure 37: Average amount contributed in the last 12 months, by age, April 2007-June 2008
                                                                                                  • The wealthy report significantly higher annual average household donations than the middle class
                                                                                                    • Figure 38: Average amount contributed in the last 12 months, by income, April 2007-June 2008
                                                                                                • How Donors Learn About Charities

                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                    • Word of mouth and media cited as primary sources of charity awareness
                                                                                                        • Figure 39: Source of charity information, by age, December 2008
                                                                                                      • Affluent more likely to cite news and employers as the way they learned about their charity
                                                                                                        • Figure 40: Source of charity information, by income, December 2008
                                                                                                    • How donors research charities

                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                        • Social networks and websites primary sources of background research
                                                                                                          • Figure 41: Preferred method of research prior to donation, by age, December 2008
                                                                                                        • Affluent more likely to conduct research and utilize auditor services
                                                                                                          • Figure 42: Preferred method of research prior to donation, by income, December 2008
                                                                                                      • Leading Charitable Organizations

                                                                                                        • Salvation Army, Shriners Hospitals, and The Nature Conservancy have the most assets
                                                                                                            • Figure 43: Top 25 charities with the most net assets in the U.S., November 2008
                                                                                                          • The Salvation Army
                                                                                                            • Shriners Hospitals for Children
                                                                                                              • The Nature Conservancy
                                                                                                              • Innovation and Innovators

                                                                                                                • Leveraging the gaming trend: The UN’s playagainstallodds.com
                                                                                                                  • The Donor’s Choose model: Providing people with a way to help the children they feel need it most
                                                                                                                  • Advertising and Promotion

                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                      • Analysis of television advertising
                                                                                                                        • Most emphasize emotional appeal over statistical facts
                                                                                                                          • Figure 44: Salvation Army doing the most good campaign, 2008
                                                                                                                          • Figure 45: American Red Cross disaster relief, 2008
                                                                                                                        • Local impact and aiding children are also prominent themes in television ads
                                                                                                                          • Figure 46: United Way ad, 2008
                                                                                                                          • Figure 47: Feed the Children ad, 2008
                                                                                                                        • Elements to consider when building and redesigning websites
                                                                                                                        • Race and Ethnicity

                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                            • Giving significantly higher among Asians and whites
                                                                                                                              • Figure 48: Made a contribution in the last 12 months, by race/ethnicity, April 2007-June 2008
                                                                                                                            • Whites most likely to favor local charities
                                                                                                                              • Figure 49: Type of charity preferred to donate to, byrace/ethnicity, December 2008
                                                                                                                            • Blacks and Hispanics more likely to state that they expect to give more in 2009
                                                                                                                              • Figure 50: Expected charitable donation compared to previous year, by race/ethnicity, December 2008
                                                                                                                            • Hispanics and blacks more likely to report giving to religious organizations
                                                                                                                              • Figure 51: Incidence of giving in the last 12 months, by race/ethnicity, April 2007-June 2008
                                                                                                                              • Figure 52: Average amount contributed in the last 12 months, by race/ethnicity, April 2007-June 2008
                                                                                                                            • Social networks primary source of information about charities, especially among whites and Hispanics
                                                                                                                              • Figure 53: Source of charity information, by race/ethnicity, December 2008
                                                                                                                              • Figure 54: Preferred method of research prior to donation, by race/ethnicity, December 2008
                                                                                                                          • Cluster Analysis

                                                                                                                              • Passive-ists
                                                                                                                                • Who they are
                                                                                                                                  • Opportunity
                                                                                                                                    • Localists
                                                                                                                                      • Who they are
                                                                                                                                        • Opportunity
                                                                                                                                          • Active-ists
                                                                                                                                            • Who they are
                                                                                                                                              • Opportunity
                                                                                                                                                • Cluster characteristics
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 55: Charitable choice clusters, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 56: Amount donated last year, by charitable choice clusters, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 57: Expected charitable donation compared to previous year, by charitable choice clusters, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 58: Charity categories, by charitable choice clusters, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 59: Source of charity information, by charitable choice clusters, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 60: Attitudinal drivers of charitable contributions, by charitable choice clusters, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 61: Preferred method of research prior to donation, by charitable choice clusters, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 62: Type of charity preferred to donate to, by charitable choice clusters, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                • Cluster demographics
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 63: Charitable choice clusters, by gender, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 64: Charitable choice clusters, by age, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 65: Charitable choice clusters, by HH income, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 66: Charitable choice clusters, by race, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 67: Charitable choice clusters, by Hispanic origin, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                • Cluster methodology
                                                                                                                                                • Custom Consumer Groups

                                                                                                                                                  • Affluents most likely to donate while young Hispanics and blacks are least likely to
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 68: Custom demographic groups with the highest incidence of contribution in the last 12 months, by custom consumer group, April 2007-June 2008
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 69: Custom demographic groups with the lowest incidence of contribution in the last 12 months, by custom consumer group, April 2007-June 2008
                                                                                                                                                  • Mature, affluent couples are the most lucrative segments
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 70: Custom lifestyle group with the highest incidence of contribution in the last 12 months, by custom consumer group, April 2007-June 2008
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 71: Incidence of giving among top custom lifestyle groups, by custom consumer group, April 2007-June 2008
                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix: Other Useful Consumer Tables

                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 72: Attitudes about self—contributor vs. non contributor, April 2007-June 2008
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 73: Religious attitudes—contributor vs. non contributor, April 2007-June 2008
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 74: Type of charity preferred to donate to, by income, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 75: Amount of money donated to charity in the previous year, by age, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 76: Incidence of giving in the last 12 months, by age, April 2007-June 2008
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 77: Incidence of giving in the last 12 months, by income, April 2007-June 2008
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 78: Charity categories, by income, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix: Contributions by Recipient Category

                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 79: Trended U.S. charitable donations for religious organizations, in current prices, 2001-07
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 80: Trended U.S. charitable donations for educational organizations, in current prices, 2001-07
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 81: Trended U.S. charitable donations for human services organizations, in current prices, 2001-07
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 82: Trended U.S. charitable donations for private foundations, in current prices, 2001-07
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 83: Trended U.S. charitable donations for health organizations, in current prices, 2001-07
                                                                                                                                                    • Health
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 84: Trended U.S. charitable donations for health organizations, in inflation-adjusted prices, 2001-07
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 85: Health contributions in the last 12 months, by household income, April 2007-June 2008
                                                                                                                                                    • Private foundations
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 86: Trended U.S. charitable donations for private foundations, in inflation-adjusted prices, 2001-07
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 87: Private foundation contributions in the last 12 months, by household income, April 2007-June 2008
                                                                                                                                                    • Social Welfare
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 88: Trended U.S. charitable donations for public/societies benefit, in current prices, 2001-07
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 89: Trended U.S. charitable donations for educational organizations, in inflation-adjusted prices, 2001-07
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 90: Social welfare contributions in the last 12 months, by household income, April 2007-June 2008
                                                                                                                                                    • Arts and Humanities
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 91: Trended U.S. charitable donations for arts, culture and humanities organizations, in current prices, 2001-07
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 92: Trended U.S. charitable donations for arts, culture and humanities organizations, in inflation-adjusted prices, 2001-07
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 93: Arts and humanities contributions in the last 12 months, by household income, April 2007-June 2008
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 94: Public radio contributions in the last 12 months, by household income, April 2007-June 2008
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 95: Public television contributions in the last 12 months, by household income, April 2007-June 2008
                                                                                                                                                    • International Affairs
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 96: Trended U.S. charitable donations for international affairs organizations, in current prices, 2001-07
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 97: Trended U.S. charitable donations for international affairs organizations, in inflation-adjusted prices, 2001-07
                                                                                                                                                    • Environmental/Animal
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 98: Trended U.S. charitable donations for environmental/animal organizations, in current prices, 2001-07
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 99: Trended U.S. charitable donations for educational/animal organizations, in inflation-adjusted prices, 2001-07
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 100: Environmental contributions in the last 12 months, by household income, April 2007-June 2008
                                                                                                                                                    • Unallocated donations
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 101: Trended U.S. charitable donations for unallocated organizations, in current prices, 2001-07
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 102: Trended U.S. charitable donations for unallocated organizations, in inflation-adjusted prices, 2001-07
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 103: Other contributions in the last 12 months, by household income, April 2007-June 2008
                                                                                                                                                    • Average annual political contributions from individuals
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 104: Political contributions in the last 12 months, by household income, April 2007-June 2008
                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix: Trade Associations

                                                                                                                                                    Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                    • American Cancer Society (ACS)
                                                                                                                                                    • Bank of America Corporation
                                                                                                                                                    • Direct Marketing Association, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                    • Facebook, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                    • Flickr
                                                                                                                                                    • Friendster Inc
                                                                                                                                                    • Google, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                    • Greenfield Online
                                                                                                                                                    • LinkedIn
                                                                                                                                                    • MySpace.com
                                                                                                                                                    • The Conference Board
                                                                                                                                                    • The Salvation Army
                                                                                                                                                    • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
                                                                                                                                                    • University of Michigan, The
                                                                                                                                                    • YouTube, Inc.

                                                                                                                                                    Charities of Choice - US - March 2009

                                                                                                                                                    US $3,995.00 (Excl.Tax)