During a time of year that brings about holiday giving and end-of-year fundraising efforts by various charities, many Americans are in a giving mood.  A look at charitable giving habits via questions from Porter Novelli Styles survey among all consumers highlights how Americans are helping each other in this time of giving—through patterns of small donations that increase as Americans grow older, and to causes with a more immediate need that often differ from the broader list of causes Americans find most important.  Below are key findings from Porter Novelli’s 2012 Styles surveys, as captured in this infographic.

  • Despite the economic uncertainty, many Americans are still giving—with most offering small donations to their favored charities (more than half report to give donations under $25).
  • As Americans grow older, also gaining more perspective and financial security, they are more likely to give to a wider array of charities.  A majority of seniors (54%) give to three or more causes, whereas nearly two-thirds of Gen Y (64%) give to just one charity.
  • What grabs Americans’ attention does not necessarily lead to what opens their wallet.  Most are more likely to rank broader issues like education, health research, and the environment as the causes most personally important to them, while their donations tend to focus on areas where they can likely see a more direct impact — causes like feeding the hungry and helping the poor.
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John Norris is a research manager with Porter Novelli in Washington, D.C..