Red Gift, Blue Gift: How giving crosses party lines

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Red Gift, Blue Gift: How giving crosses party lines

It’s Super Tuesday. As thousands of voters head to the primary polls, I thought it would be interesting – and fun – to look at charitable giving patterns along political party lines. Our recent Insights on Nonprofit Giving report revealed some interesting partisan similarities and differences.

Where Party Lines Agree

According to the national survey, regardless of whether people identify as red or blue, they donate for the same reason – wanting to help people in need.What’s more, generally speaking, Democrats, Republicans and Independents prefer the same methods of giving – with top preferences being cash in-person and checks in the mail. For example,

  • In-person with cash:
    • Republicans, 33 percent
    • Democrats, 29 percent
    • Independents, 32 percent
  • By mail with a check:
    • Republicans, 28 percent
    • Democrats, 31 percent
    • Independents, 32 percent
  • By credit or debit card using a computer:
    • Republicans, 19 percent
    • Democrats, 23 percent
    • Independents, 19 percent

Where Party Lines Diverge

We are, however, divided when it comes to how much we give.Average contributions over the last 12 months by Democrats and Independents are roughly the same: $598 and $596, respectively. Republicans, on the other hand, average nearly double that amount at $1,146.

When looking at the median amounts, there is somewhat less deviation, though Republicans still lead the pack at $300, with Democrats and Independents in a dead heat at a median amount of $200.Other relevant statistics include:

  • Republicans may favor tax breaks: Republicans were almost twice as likely as Democrats to indicate they’d made a charitable contribution for a tax break: 19 percent and 10 percent, respectively. Though these statistics are generally within the survey’s margin of error, it may still be something to consider.
  • Feeling fortunate motivates Democrats more: Only 36 percent of Republicans gave because they “felt fortunate and wanted to give something back,” while that’s what inspired 42 percent of Democrats to give. In both cases, this was the second most popular reason to make charitable donations.

Democrats and Republicans rally together

The most popular reason for giving – “I wanted to help people in need” – was chosen by 56 percent of both Republicans and Democrats.

Across the board, the reasons cited for giving were altruistic. 58 percent said “I wanted to help people in need.” A significant 39 percent told us, “I felt fortunate and wanted to give something back.” And tied for third place were religious reasons and “It’s just part of how I was raised,” at 29 percent each. Only 15 percent of those polled indicated they donated because they “wanted a tax deduction.”While the survey results won’t tell us the candidates that will come out on top, it does provide some interesting insights. Perhaps we’re in less of a race than we might have thought.GiveCentral’s Insights on Nonprofit Giving report is full of other insights, tips and recommendations. Be sure to get your free report!Get The Survey Report

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