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Survey Finds Large Majority Tightening Wallets, Reducing Gifts

(Oct. 27, 2008) More than 80 percent of respondents to a recent survey indicate they have become more concerned about their finances, leading half to either reduce their giving or stop giving altogether.

In contrast, just 18 percent of respondents said that they have cut back on other spending in order to make regular contributions during the past 12 months.

These results come from the National Survey of U.S. Adults on Current Charitable Giving Practices, a recent online study conducted by Capital One Financial Corporation headquartered in McLean, Va.  More than 1,000 adults participated in the self-administrated online questionnaire on July 25-28, 2008.

The survey was released in conjunction with the launch of a new website, No Hassle Giving, that allows Capitol One cardholders to research, select and donate to the cause of their choice. The corporation has partnered with Network for Good to offer a comprehensive database of 1.2 million charities in the United States.

Seniors are 67 percent more like to reduce the amount of money they typically donate to their regular charities due to financial concerns during this period, compared to Boomers (56 percent), Gen X (51 percent) and Gen Y (42 percent). In addition, females are more likely to report that they have been unable to make charitable donations they made in previous years due to financial concerns.

“While these numbers are disappointing, they are hardly surprising,” said Paulette Maehara, CFRE, CAE, president and CEO of AFP. “We know that times are challenging, but this survey points to the importance of sticking to the fundamentals of fundraising and not panicking. Even in difficult times, people want to give, and our State of Fundraising surveys show that a majority of charities continue to raise more funds in challenging years than in years past.”

Maehara noted that AFP has put together a Fundraising Survival Kit to help members in these difficult times. “There are many strategies and tactics that charities can employ in these times, and we believe this information can be vital to fundraisers trying to ensure that their organization’s programs and services will continue to be funded.”

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