News and analysis
November 23, 2015

Study: Few Consumers Familiar With Giving Tuesday

Title: The Templeton Giving Survey

Organization: The John Templeton Foundation and analytics firm Edelman Berland

Summary: Just 18 percent of Americans are familiar with Giving Tuesday, the annual day of giving, according to a new study, while almost all — 93 percent — are familiar with Black Friday, the retail bonanza following Thanksgiving. This year, the fourth Giving Tuesday falls on December 1.

More than 2,000 Americans age 18 and older were surveyed as part of the Templeton Giving Survey conducted by the John Templeton Foundation.

More than two-thirds said they participate in Thanksgiving consumerism, despite the fact that 72 percent of consumers believe stores should be closed for the holiday.

Some charity fundraisers told The Chronicle that they find asking donors for money during the week that includes Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday unappealing, and that they have their doubts about whether participation makes sense.

Some of the other branded days that week seem to be creating dropouts as well. Recreational Equipment Inc., or REI, announced last month that its stores would remain closed on both Thanksgiving and Black Friday, and other stores quickly agreed to follow suit.

"Holiday consumer spending is climbing each year," Henry Timms, founder of Giving Tuesday and executive director of 92nd Street Y said in a statement announcing the study's findings, "but Giving Tuesday allows consumers to focus on the true meaning of Thanksgiving."

Among the findings:

  • Those who said they think about what they are grateful for on a daily basis, as opposed to less than daily, donate more money annually on average — $468 vs. $319.
  • 80 percent of millennials surveyed believe there should be a holiday focused on giving back to those in need.
  • 41 percent of those surveyed who donate any money said they give 5 percent or more of their annual household income to charity annually.
  • People who participate in religious practices donate significantly more money ($598 vs. $166) and time annually (21 hours vs. 7 hours) than those who do not.

Send an email to Eden Stiffman.