Holiday Donation Drives

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Holiday Donation Drives

Insights on holiday giving show that two-thirds of donors tend to choose charities based on recommendations from friends and family. US adults across all age groups and generations actively give during the holiday season, with millennials preferring to donate via crowdfunding and mobile payments. DNL Omnimedia posits that the year-end holiday season ushers a generous mood in people, leading to an uptake in donations.


  • YouGov, a research and data analytics company, approximates that about 75% of US adults donate some amount of money to charities every year. YouGov identifies the various amounts given, noting that 20% of Baby Boomers and 11% of Gen X donate about $1,000.
  • Mobile Cause, a software fundraising provider, further notes that members of every generation are frequent year-end givers. This includes Millennials, Baby Boomers, Gen X, and the Greatest Generation. Millennials, for instance, are noted as responsive to campaign videos and social media messaging, while the Baby Boomers are praised as recurring donors.

How They Donate

  • According to Winspire, 70% of Americans are comfortable donating through multiple channels. Mobile Cause notes that these channels may include checks, cash, online payment platforms, swiping, and even using text-to-give keywords.
  • Neon, a non-profit database, notes that 35% of donors prefer to donate online after receiving direct mail.
  • Millennials are noted to prefer giving through online payment platforms as well as peer-to-peer fundraising. This, Mobile Cause notes, is one of the most popular ways of crowdfunding among young people.
  • Members of Gen X are said to be more likely to raise funds, volunteer as well as make pledges to the charity of their choice. Mobile Cause posits that Baby Boomers are the age group most likely to make recurring donations.
  • The Greatest Generation, adults aged 67 and above, are noted as the most likely to donate via check. The wealthier seniors in this category may opt to pay for their donations using credit cards.

Why They Donate

  • Feeling good about helping others, happiness, positive connections, and tax deductions have been identified as some of the top reasons for holiday giving among US adults. Mobile Cause notes that these reasons should be put into consideration during outreach marketing efforts, as charities ought to deliver the appropriate appeal that will echo the donor's personal feelings on giving.
  • DNL Omnimedia, a technology platform for non-profit organizations, notes that the holiday spirit puts people in a generous mood, making them more receptive to appeals from a charity.
  • DNL Omnimedia also adds that holidays present the last chance for donors to take advantage of tax breaks accrued from giving. This, it continues to add, is a 'major driver' of donations during the last days of the holidays. Classy, a fundraising software provider, notes that 10% of donors admit that tax write-offs are their primary motivation for holiday donations.

Choice in Charities

  • Winspire posits that about two-thirds of donors do not carry out any research on charities, but rather rely on recommendations from friends and family members. YouGov's survey found that 39% of donors made donations because a family member or friend requested them.
  • 51% of Americans are said to donate to charities they feel personally connected to. YouGov adds that a full 37% of American donors only give to charities they believe will use the funds responsibly and effectively.
  • 32% of donors interviewed by YouGov posited that they donated during an in-store checkout at grocery or drug stores. Another 27% admitted that they have donated through public solicitation by persons working on behalf of a charity. 23% of donors noted that they donated through a letter received in the mail, while 21% admit to making donations after watching a news story related to the issue or charity.
  • Of the donors interviewed by YouGov, 39% said they donated to charities that cater to human services like homeless shelters and food banks. A full 32% admitted to donating to religious causes such as churches or faith-based media stations. 26% of donors interviewed have donated to health-related charities, while an identical percentage admitted to donating to charities that cater to animals.