Survey Reveals Most Americans Still Make Charitable Contributions

Press release from the issuing company

Thursday, May 14th, 2015

Despite challenging economic times, most Americans believe in supporting local causes, reports a new study by TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank, which surveyed 1,435 U.S. consumers about their attitudes and behaviors towards charitable giving. In fact, 82 percent of American consumers have contributed their time or money to support a charity over the past 12 months.

For all those skeptics who believe Americans aren't giving back, the data speaks for itself:

  • 72 percent of Americans said they would be happy to donate loose coins each week to support a favorite cause 
  • 94 percent are willing to sacrifice personal spending (on new clothing, coffee or a meal out) to support a charitable cause 
  • 90 percent said they would give to charity if they won a million dollars 
  • 52 percent said that the economic downturn had no impact on their charitable giving


"The results are heart-warming, but not surprising," said Vinoo Vijay, Chief Marketing Officer, TD Bank. "TD always suspected that most Americans shared a deep commitment to their communities." 

Millennials get social with giving

Currently millennials give more than their seniors with 53 percent making monetary contributions at least once a month, compared with only 31 percent of gen Xers and 34 percent of baby boomers. 

Millennials may seem adrift in a world of tweets, texts and posts, but their social media habits are supporting the greater good, with 63 percent contributing to causes they've learned about through social media, compared with 37 percent of all consumers surveyed.

Despite being tethered to their mobile phones, 59 percent of millennials have collected coins to support charity, versus only 39 percent of overall respondents. And speaking of loose coins, millennials are more willing to donate change each month than their older counterparts, with 79 percent stating that they'd be willing to spare a few coins each week to contribute to a cause they believe in, compared with 71 percent of gen Xers and 67 percent of baby boomers.

While more than half of respondents (52 percent) stated they are more likely to contribute and donate if a business is matching their contributions, this number climbed to 66 percent for millennials.

Charity begins at home

Today's consumers may think globally, but they act locally. In fact, 68 percent said that half or more of their charitable time and money support community-based causes, with most respondents (72 percent) preferring to assist local charities over national or international causes.

Given that nearly half of those asked (49 percent) linked their charitable efforts to a long-term passion or interest, it should come as little surprise that children/youth organizations topped the list for volunteer dollars and hours (44 percent), followed closely by animal welfare (43 percent). Other popular causes include religious organizations (34 percent), homeless assistance (33 percent) and disease prevention (33 percent). 

Not only did respondents support giving to children, they also want their children to give support, with 92 percent feeling it is important to teach their children the value of giving back to their community.

Americans value values

Not only are Americans conscious of spending, they're also spending by conscience. Today's consumers are putting their money where their values are, with a staggering 88 percent reporting that they are more likely to support businesses that give back to their local communities. 

And businesses might be interested to learn that a quarter of employees (24 percent) stated that they would be more likely to donate to a cause if their boss sat in a dunk tank. 

Small Change = Big Impact

This survey grows out of TD Bank's "Bring Change" program, which supports local organizations that are making a real difference in the communities TD serves. The program also assists individuals recovering from hardships, such as illness or natural disaster. 

Starting on May 8 and extending through February 2016, TD's coin-counting Penny Arcades in 500 select stores will serve as designated collections hubs to fund local initiatives across the company's Maine to Florida footprint. TD Bank will also award up to $1 million in donations to worthy recipients.

"We're excited to give our community an opportunity to give back," said Vijay. "And I'm thrilled in the small part we can play to support it."

For more information, check out for up-to-date Bring Change stories, photos, and news.