Jan. 28, 2015 — Even though the percentage of Americans who said their financial situations had improved dropped sharply from last year, a greater percentage of adults said they will give more to charity this year, according to the 2015 Dunham+Company Wilson Perkins Allen State of Philanthropy Study. African-Americans and regular attenders of religious services topped the list of donors who expected to give more.
Eighteen percent of those surveyed said they planned to give more in 2015 compared to 13 percent in 2014. Thirty-three percent of African-Americans surveyed said they planned to give more followed by 28 percent of people who attend religious services more than once a week. Of the African-Americans who said they planned to give more this year, 50 percent make less than $35,000 a year, 49 percent attend religious services at least once a week and 45 percent live in the South.
Only 8 percent of Americans said they planned to give less this year compared to 24 percent in 2014.
“One of the common threads that runs through philanthropy is the proportion given by those who attend religious services frequently and the higher ratio of giving that comes from those living in the South,” says Rick Dunham, president and CEO of Dunham+Company. “So it is no surprise that we see both surfacing in our study this year. But what is unique is the strong sense of commitment to giving even though clearly more people are feeling like their financial situation has worsened.”
Only one in four (25 percent) said their personal financial situation improved in the last year compared to 35 percent a year ago, representing a dramatic drop of nearly 30 percent. In addition, 26 percent of households said their financial conditions had worsened, which is up from just 19 percent a year ago. This finding was especially true of those making less than $35,000 per year, with 36 percent of respondents in this demographic indicating as such, compared to just 26 percent a year ago.
Forty-five percent of those who make $100,000 or more a year said their financial situation had improved, compared to 51 percent a year ago, and 43 percent said it had stayed the same. High-income households consistently contribute the most to charitable organizations in this country.
The study was conducted on behalf of Dunham+Company by Wilson Perkins Allen Opinion Research. Respondents in the continental U.S. were contacted by a live telephone operator using random digit dialing for an interview Jan. 8-11, 2015. The results were then weighted by gender, age, ethnicity, education and geography to be proportionately representative of the U.S. adult population. The study has a sample size of 1,015 adults (18 and older) with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percent in 95 out of 100 cases.