Donor Participation

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Charity Trust and Giving Attitudes

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Charity Finance and Donor Trust Infographic

Openness to Solicitation Infographic


  Donor Trust Report

Special Report: Donor Participation

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In the Special Donor Trust Report: Donor Participation, we ask participants to identify whether, over the past 5 years, they had been engaged with charities and, if so, whether they stopped, decreased, maintained, or increased their donations to charities. Our goal is to gain insight into why some donors disengage with charities and explore possible ways to encourage greater participation moving forward.

Our findings show that 59% of people with household income above $70k who stopped giving to charities over the past five years agree with the statement “there are people out there with significantly more money who should give to charity instead of me.” Finances aside, participants say they stopped contributing because they preferred other ways of being generous, did not trust the soliciting charity, or did not feel like they had been asked. Notably, 77% of Boomers who stopped donating said they could not afford to, compared to only 27% of Gen Zers. On the other hand, 45% of Gen Zers who stopped contributing said they did not feel like they had been asked, compared to only 4% of Boomers.

Donor Trust Report 2022: Five-Year Review of Trust and Giving Attitudes

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The Donor Trust Report 2022: Five-Year Review of Trust and Giving Attitudes offers a (1) 5-year review of public trust in the charitable sector, highlighting charity types that have experienced noteworthy shifts; (2) snapshot of perceived trust signals and giving preferences as reported by survey participants; and (3) deeper dive into how participants who report being open to charity solicitation differ from the broader sample.

The report is based on a survey conducted during December 2021 of more than 2,100 adults in the United States (and a separate section for more than 1,000 adults in Canada). The survey found an increase in “high trust” for 12 out of 13 charity categories, and the highest openness to solicitation we have observed in five years. When presenting participants with scenarios that might deter donation, most focus on financial concerns, but different generations point to different priorities.

Ultimately, the Donor Trust Report series aims to shed light on the dynamic relationship between donors and charities, with the goal of strengthening their bond. The ability of the sector to build upon donors’ generosity depends on public trust and on the sector’s alignment with the way people want to be engaged in advancing a greater good.

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Special Report: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI)

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The Special Donor Trust Report: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion explores (1) whether donors value DEI in charities; (2) whether DEI is a meaningful consideration in the giving process; and (3) how different demographic groups (including age, race, sexual orientation, and religious identity) differ in their preferences.

Our findings show that 2 in 5 people (41%) say they would not donate to a charity they supported in the past upon learning that the charity tolerates discrimination. By comparison, 34% would not donate to charities using culturally insensitive images and language, and 17% would not donate upon learning the charity’s board is not diverse. Our survey also shows that younger respondents, people of color, and LGBTQ+ participants are more likely to report hearing about a specific charity having a lack of DEI and to report positive associations related to a charity having a diverse, equitable, and inclusive board and staff.  These results are based on an electronic survey of more than 2,100 adults across the United States and more than 1,000 adults in Canada conducted during December 2021.

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