Dec 3, 2019

Giving Tuesday poll: The causes Americans support

Data: SurveyMonkey online poll with a margin of error of ±2 percentage points; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios
Data: SurveyMonkey online poll with a margin of error of ±2 percentage points; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Most Americans have donated their time and their money to social causes and charities in the last year, according to an Axios-SurveyMonkey poll on philanthropy that breaks down the most popular charitable giving causes.

The bottom line: Education tops the list of causes Americans have supported, followed by human services and health — but they give less to the arts and international affairs.

The big picture: Education is the top cause for both millennials (46%) and Gen X (42%). Gen Z supports health causes most (47%), while Boomers support religion (41%) more than other causes.

  • International affairs ranks last in giving for all age groups, with only 6% of Americans saying that they’ve donated to related causes in the last 12 months.

What to watch: Jobs and the economy, health care and immigration regularly rank in the top priorities that Americans want 2020 presidential candidates to address. Americans’ giving practices overlap with these priorities to some extent, but how that will play out in the election remains to be seen.

  • Over 70% of both Republicans and Democrats have volunteered both time and money to social causes or charities in the past year.
  • However, in terms of company involvement, those who identify as more liberal are more likely to think workplaces should support social causes, with 81% of Democrats believing it’s important, compared to 62% of Republicans.

Methodology: These data are from a SurveyMonkey online poll conducted among adults ages 18 and older in the United States. Respondents were selected from the more than 2 million people who take surveys on the SurveyMonkey platform each day. Data have been weighted for age, race, sex, education, and geography using the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey to reflect the demographic composition of the United States age 18 and over.

The survey was conducted November 22-26, 2019 among 4,473 adults, including 3,332 who are employed. The modeled error estimate for the full sample is plus or minus 2.0 percentage points.

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