#GivingTuesday and SurveyMonkey Release New Insights into Charitable Giving This Holiday Season

89% of Americans have supported a nonprofit over the past 12 months; giving expected to increase for this year’s #GivingTuesday

New​ ​York,​ ​NY​ ​and​ ​San​ ​Mateo,​ ​Calif.​, November 20, 2017 – Leading up to the holiday giving season, #GivingTuesday and SurveyMonkey today released new survey findings revealing trends in charitable giving over the past 12 months. The study shows the vast majority of Americans (89%) have already supported a nonprofit in the past year, but these high rates of charitable giving are not likely to cause donation fatigue in anticipation of #GivingTuesday on November 28.

According to the survey, most Americans (64%) donated money, nearly half (46%) donated food or clothes, and 38% volunteered in the past 12 months. With more than half of people who’ve made donations (54%) giving money for disaster relief, the study indicates that #GivingTuesday can help boost support for nonprofit organizations in need even further. For example, among those who have heard of the #GivingTuesday campaign and who have already donated money to disaster relief this year, nearly two-thirds (63%) plan to participate in the global movement November 28.

“After a strong year of Americans supporting their local nonprofits, we’re excited to see that charitable giving shows no signs of slowing down as we approach #GivingTuesday,” said Asha Curran, Chief Innovation Officer at 92nd Street Y and Director of its Belfer Center for Innovation & Social Impact, the home of the global #GivingTuesday movement. “Everyone has an opportunity to help bring about real change in their communities, and new technologies powering online giving make it even easier.”

“This joint SurveyMonkey|#GivingTuesday study was conducted with the help of SurveyMonkey Contribute platform which has already raised over $11.5 million for more than 50 participating nonprofits and provides an easy way to donate just by completing a survey,” said Chuck Brinker, Head of Operations, SurveyMonkey Audience. “We hope to see even more people utilizing new tools this holiday season that make giving back as easy as spending a few minutes on online surveys.”

The study sheds light on the most effective ways to engage with charitable Americans who are eager to support great causes, which is critical during the holiday season when nonprofits raise the lion’s share of annual contributions.

Key findings from the survey:

  • As the holiday season approaches, 76% of people say that donating to causes they believe in is more or equally as important to them as buying gifts for loved ones.
  • The majority (60%) of those who have made donations in the past 12 months say they prioritized them by cause rather than choosing local, national, or international organizations.
  • Among most popular causes named by respondents are: disaster relief (54%), social services like poverty abatement, homelessness, at-risk youth (51%), animals (46%), health (43%), and public benefit, including civil rights, community improvement, and volunteer organizations (33%).
  • The study shows that charitable activity tends to increase with age: 79% of seniors 60 years and older have donated money and 58% have donated food or clothes in the past year, compared to just 54% and 32%, respectively, of millennials age 18-29.
  • Women are a bit more likely than men to participate in charitable activities overall; just 7% of women did not support nonprofits in the past year, compared to 14% of men.
  • Findings also point to an expected increase in charitable giving later this month. Nearly one-third (31%) of respondents who are familiar with #GivingTuesday noted that this movement makes them more likely to contribute in some way to nonprofits. In fact, 64% of respondents familiar with #GivingTuesday are planning to participate this year.
  • #GivingTuesday participants are more charitable year-round: of those who participated in #GivingTuesday in 2016, 75% donated money at some point throughout the year—topping the overall average of 64%.

Full results of this SurveyMonkey|#GivingTuesday survey are available here. The survey was conducted on SurveyMonkey Audience, an online nonprobability panel, November 3-5, 2017. Respondents for the panel were recruited via SurveyMonkey Contribute platform that offers charitable incentives of $0.50 per completed survey—these donations go to the charities of respondents’ choice while respondents themselves are not compensated. With 1,002 respondents for this survey, $501 will be donated to various charities as part of the #GivingTuesday movement. SurveyMonkey has recently surpassed $11.5 million in total donations to 50+ charity organizations through the SurveyMonkey Contribute program. To learn more about how to participate and help raise money for nonprofits, please visit here.

About SurveyMonkey

Founded in 1999 and based in San Mateo, California, SurveyMonkey is the world’s leading People Powered Data platform enabling curious individuals and companies – including 99% of the Fortune 500 – to have conversations at scale with the people who matter most. Whether it’s a trend in the market, opinions of customers, or voices of employees, SurveyMonkey turns them into actionable data. As a pioneer of the industry, SurveyMonkey is a trusted platform for people to express their true feelings and opinions so organizations can uncover the ‘why’ behind the data. SurveyMonkey’s 700+ employees throughout North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific are dedicated to powering the curious.

About #GivingTuesday

Created by the team at the Belfer Center for Innovation & Social Impact at the 92nd Street Y, #GivingTuesday is a global giving movement that has been built by individuals, families, organizations, businesses and communities in all 50 states and in countries around the world. This year, #GivingTuesday falls on November 28. #GivingTuesday harnesses the collective power of a unique blend of partners to transform how people think about, talk about, and participate in the giving season. It inspires people to take collective action to improve their communities, give back in better, smarter ways to the charities and causes they believe in, and help create a better world. #GivingTuesday demonstrates how every act of generosity counts, and that they mean even more when we give together.


Irina Efremova
SurveyMonkey, Senior Communications Manager

Carrie Oman
#GivingTuesday, Director of Publicity, 92Y