Americans Open Their Hearts and Wallets to Charities During the Holidays

H. C. Covington (
Tue, 2 Dec 1997 05:06:39 -0600

H. C. Sonny Covington @ I CAN! America
Lafayette -  New Iberia, LA  70563-1722
(318) 364-6239  Fax 318-367-9141

November 25, 1997,
Americans Open Their Hearts and Wallets to Charities During the Holidays

Seventy-one percent of Americans make cash or gift donations to charities
and the needy during the holiday season, according to a recent Maritz
AmeriPoll(R). The national poll of 1,006 adult men and women also indicates
that rates of charitable giving increase with age:
61% of people age 18-34,
76% of people age 35-54, and
79% of people age 55 and older donate money or merchandise to charities.

"The average American is a caring soul," says Lt. Colonel Gordon Spicer of
The Salvation Army in St. Louis. "When they make contributions to
organizations like ours, their gifts fulfill two needs - those of the less
fortunate, as well as their own need to feel that they're making a
contribution and improving their communities." ST. LOUIS, Nov. 25

The average donation Americans will make to charities this holiday season is
$54. Men have the biggest hearts (and wallets), giving an average of $63,
while women give $45. Twenty-eight percent of all Americans will give $20 or
less, 35% from $20-50, 15% between $50-100, and 13 % more than $100. Men are
more than twice as likely as women to donate more than $150 to the needy.

Charitable giving rates and levels also rise with incomes:

* 68% with incomes between $15,000-$35,000 donate, with an average gift of

* 77% with incomes from $35,000-$55,000 give, with an average gift of $52

* 79% with incomes over $55,000 contribute, with an average gift of $79

Americans will participate in a variety of charitable programs and
activities during the holidays, including donating toys for children (72%),
providing gifts and food for needy families through an adopt-a-family type
program (47%), volunteering to solicit donations for a charitable
organization such as the Salvation Army (28%), volunteering at a soup
kitchen or homeless shelter (16%), and hosting a needy family in their homes
for a holiday meal (10%).