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Giving Facts

  • Approximately 50% of all charitable giving goes to religion, education, and arts organizations.
  • Annually, free clinics in the United States provide care for 1.8 million individuals, accounting for 3.5 million medical and dental visits.
  • Individuals spent less time volunteering in 2012, but nearly 26.5% of the adults in the United States volunteered with an organization that year. Volunteers contributed 12.7 billion hours in 2012, worth an estimated $259.6 billion.
  • A growing trend among fundraisers is to look for donors in countries where new business growth is surging, such as Brazil, China, India, Mexico, Russia, and South Africa.
  • A donor can make a more significant impact by contributing directly to a well-researched charity rather than buying a charity-affiliated product.
  • According to IRS data on charities with $50,000 or more in revenue, nonprofits fared somewhat worse during the recession-driven years (2008 to 2012) than during the previous four years (2004 to 2008).
  • The Chronicle of Philanthropy reported that nearly all social-service groups have been under strain for the past 5 years because of the bad economy.
  • Over 500 charities will be evaluated by Charity Navigator on their Results Reporting by the end of the year.
  • Of the 3,929 charities included in Charity Navigator's 2013 CEO Compensation Study, only 9 paid their top executives more than $1 million.
  • One in every 28 children will have a parent in jail or prison during the holidays.
  • After a successful inaugural effort during the fall of 2012, a unique giving experience will take place again this year on December 3rd, 2013. It is called #GivingTuesday and it is catching on across the country and around the world. This movement aims to set aside a day dedicated to giving, similar to how Black Friday and Cyber Monday have become days that are synonymous with holiday shopping.
  • The average American spends $800 on gifts over the holiday season. According to a national survey, 70% of Americans would welcome less emphasis on gift giving and spending.
  • Over half a million people die from malaria each year, mostly children younger than five years old. When insecticide-treated nets are used properly by three-quarters of the people in a community, malaria transmission is cut by 50%, child deaths are cut by 20%, and the mosquito population drops by as much as 90%.
  • The Syrian refugee crisis has caused over two million to have fled the country. The pace of the diaspora has been characterized by the UN as the worst since the Rwandan genocide in 1994. In addition, an estimated 4.25 million Syrians have been displaced within their country, bringing the total number forced into flight to more than 6 million.
  • Americans' biggest tips for the holiday season, a median of $50, went to house cleaners. 64% of Americans who used house cleaners gave them money or a gift.
  • Middle-class Americans give a far bigger share of their discretionary income to charities than the rich. A report by The Chronicle of Philanthropy showed that households that earn $50,000 to $75,000 give an average of 7.6% of their discretionary income to charity, compared with an average of 4.2% for people who make $100,000 or more.
  • Giving USA 2013 reported slowed growth in international affairs. This was likely due to a decline in high profile international disasters and increase in giving for domestic issues and disasters.
  • It was reported that about $400 million has been raised for charities in response to Hurricane Sandy by early 2013. The American Red Cross raised $188 million, the Robin Hood Foundation raised $67 million, the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City raised $45 million, the Empire State Relief Fund raised $15.4 million, and the Salvation Army USA Eastern Territory raised $14.3 million.
  • In a survey by Ask Your Target Market, 57% of respondents said they do donate to charity in some way over the holiday season. Of those who do, 46% said they make a monetary donation directly to an organization, 64% donate to a third party like a bell ringer or store that collects donations for a charity at checkout, 24% buy gifts for people through a mitten tree or adopt-a-family program, 63% donate items like home goods or nonperishable foods, and 22% donate time by volunteering.
  • One in 45 children experience homelessness in America each year. That's over 1.6 million children. The most successful intervention for ending chronic homelessness is permanent supportive housing.
  • Approximately 17.9 billion cards, packages and letters are shipped during the whole holiday season. On December 17th, the busiest mailing day of the year, 658 million pieces of mail are processed.
  • Contributions are deductible in the year they are made. Thus, donations charged to a credit card before the end of 2013 count for 2013. This is true even if the credit card bill isn't paid until 2014. Also, checks count for 2013 as long as they are mailed in 2013.
  • The deadlines to ensure that your packages arrive to military and State Department post offices overseas by Dec. 25, 2013 are: Nov. 12 for standard post, Nov. 26 for space-available mail, Dec. 3 for parcel airlift mail, Dec. 10 for priority mail and first-class mail, letters and cards, Dec. 17 for express mail military service. *Packages addressed to APO/FPO/DPO AE ZIP 093 have earlier deadlines.
  • The average American gives 4.7% of their income to charities.
  • In 2012, 46.5 million people (15%) in the United States were in poverty. For just $1, food banks can provide 8 meals to men, women and children facing hunger.
  • Consumers spent $59.1 billion while shopping during the weekend surrounding Thanksgiving and Black Friday in 2012. Environment and animal charities took in $9.48 billion in contributions for the entire year of 2012.
  • Of the 6,800+ charities evaluated by Charity Navigator, the vast majority spend at least 75% of their budgets on the programs and services that they exist to provide, 10% or less on fundraising fees and 15% or less on administrative costs.
  • Even with the recent economic decline, over 52% of the organizations evaluated by Charity Navigator have increased their programs and services while also increasing their primary revenue.
  • Only about half of the charities on the Philanthropy 400, the charities that raise the most in America, are raising more than they did in 2007, when the recession started. Charities that rely on a broad pool of donations from Americans at all income levels continue to struggle to win support.
  • Women of the baby boom and older generations give 89% more than their male counterparts, Women's Philanthropy Institute research shows.
  • Charity Navigator rates the Financial Health and Accountability & Transparency of over 6,800 charities.
  • Giving by corporations is estimated to have increased by 12.2% in 2012, which was largely driven by a 16.6% gain in corporate pre-tax profits and 4% growth in the GDP.
  • The average person makes 24% of their annual donations between Thanksgiving and New Year's, according to research from the Center on Philanthropy.
  • In most developing countries, public school is not free. The costs of books, uniforms, and teachers' salaries are borne by the students' families. A pledge of $75 a month can provide a young woman with a full year's room, board, fees, books, supplies and uniform, giving her an education she would otherwise not receive.
  • You must keep a bank record or written communication from a charity including the charity's name, along with the date and amount of your contribution, in order to deduct a cash contribution.
  • Network for Good reported that the average donation amount is much higher during the Holiday Season: in December 2010, the average gift was $142 versus an average of $91 for the year.
  • According to Giving USA 2013, giving by individuals, foundations, and corporations has increased. However, giving by bequest has decreased 7% from 2011.
  • One million additional tons of garbage are produced each week between Thanksgiving and Christmas— a 25% increase in total waste during the holiday period than any other time of year. Half of the paper America consumes is used to wrap and decorate consumer products.
  • More than 30% of annual giving via Network for Good's donation processing system is during December.
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