Charitable Giving Has Actually Increased During Pandemic

  • Dec 7, 2020

The pandemic has changed the way many people spend their money, but it hasn’t made them any less generous. In the United States, 77 percent of people say they now spend less on going out to restaurants, 70 percent spend less on travel and 26 percent spend less on hobbies, according to Statista. However, charitable giving is up.  

Human services charities, such as homeless shelters and food banks, saw a 68-percent increase in grants year-over-year, according to Fidelity Charitable, a public charity that works with nearly a quarter million donors. Many charities, such as Goodwill, St. Vincent de Paul, and the Salvation Army, have struggled to keep up with donations, according to Today. Some thrift stores have seen a surge in donations of 20 to 40 percent since the beginning of the pandemic. 

Even during times of personal hardship, many feel compelled to give. Those who were laid off or furloughed due to the pandemic are among the most charitable, with 62 percent donating to charity, according to LendingTree

Among the tens of millions of Americans who received stimulus checks from the IRS, many donated all or a portion of their checks to those in need. Charity Navigator reported record-breaking traffic on its site and a 237-percent increase in donations the week stimulus checks went out. 

Gallup reports that about three in 10 people have assisted in COVID-19 relief efforts. While 30 percent of Americans indicated they suffered financially from the pandemic, most (66 percent) say they do not plan to scale back their charitable giving next year. In fact, 25 percent say they plan to increase their giving.  

The economy will determine whether people can fulfill their giving goals, but history points to continued generosity. Even after 9/11 and the Great Recession, individuals continued to open their wallets and give their time to help others. The United States is the world’s most generous country—and has been for the past 10 years, according to the World Giving Index.

Giving USA notes that in 2019, Americans donated nearly $450 billion to charity, with several sectors—education; public-society benefit; arts, culture and humanities; and environment/animals—seeing double-digit growth. With more than 1.54 million charitable organizations in the United States alone, there are abundant opportunities to give back and make a difference. 

Promotional products can help charities large and small share their message and mission, cultivate donors and raise funds. From crowdfunding campaigns to programs targeting recurring donors, promotional items allow charities to get in front of their target audience and generate consistent donations. 

Promotional products can help in several ways, from reminding previous donors of how they can give, to engaging new volunteers who are eager to serve their communities. More than anything, promotional items help charitable organizations stay top of mind, which makes all the difference when charities need an infusion of cash and helping hands.  

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