Majority of Americans are Compassionate and Giving to Those in Need

Survey Finds that American Women Lead Charitable Contributions

Sep 09, 2008, 01:00 ET from Center for International Disaster Information

    ARLINGTON, Va., Sept. 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new survey
 released by the Center for International Disaster Information (CIDI) finds
 that the vast majority of Americans are compassionate when it comes to
 helping others in need. Researchers found that 87 percent of Americans 18
 years of age or older have donated to charities or causes, while 60 percent
 of those have donated specifically towards disaster relief or a particular
 cause. The survey found that women were generally more compassionate than
 men, with 91 percent of women donating to charities as compared to 83
 percent of men.
     The survey, conducted by Opinion Research Corporation's CARAVAN
 Services and commissioned by CIDI, reached 1,002 adults 18 years of age or
 older who were questioned specifically about their charitable giving habits
 as related to international disasters. The overwhelming majority of
 respondents, 76 percent, who donated to international disaster relief gave
 cash most often. 50 percent of Americans cited that monetary donations were
 more effective than donating goods.
     The survey was conducted at a crucial time when television and print
 news is almost saturated with haunting images and scenes of devastation
 from various natural and humanitarian disasters. This past year alone, the
 American public has witnessed countless global tragedies including the
 China earthquake, the Myanmar cyclone and most recently, the strife between
 Georgia and Russia that has left tens of thousands of civilians displaced
 and seeking refuge.
     "The findings of this survey confirm that Americans have good
 intentions when it comes to assisting international disaster victims and
 that many Americans are making the best choice by giving cash donations.
 Our program strives to promote that cash is best to support international
 disaster relief and I'm happy to learn that Americans are listening," said
 Suzanne H. Brooks, Director of CIDI.
     The survey further found that Americans who have traveled overseas are
 more likely to donate cash to international disaster relief, as compared to
 those Americans that have not traveled abroad. Overall, 58 percent of
 Americans who have traveled outside of the U.S. are likely to donate cash
 to relief efforts in one of the regions they have visited if a disaster
 occurred there. Young respondents, ages 18-34 years, were even more likely
 to donate to an international region where they had visited, with 69
 percent of respondents stating they were likely to give cash to relief
 efforts, as compared to 54 percent of respondents ages 35 years or older
 who have traveled outside of the U.S.
     The survey found many interesting nuances to disaster donation
 behavior, including that online resources have yet to be maximized for
 charitable efforts. The survey results will be shared with the disaster
 relief community, to help better understand charitable givers.
     "It was important for us as a program that serves as a resource for
 international aid experts to gauge who is giving, why they give and what
 they choose to give," Brooks adds. "With these research findings, we can
 assess how to educate the public on appropriate international disaster
 relief strategically and more effectively. This survey proves that women
 are the most generous charitable donators, which we had anecdotally
 believed due to both their compassion and budget responsibilities. Now we
 see this is also because of their relationships and travel experience."
     The survey was conducted via telephone polling by Opinion Research
 Corporation's CARAVAN Services on behalf of CIDI. A national probability
 sample of 1,002 adults were polled during the period July 25-28, 2008. For
 more information about CIDI, please visit Additional survey
 information can be received by contacting Kate Houston at 202-944-5168.
     About CIDI
     CIDI is based in Arlington, Virginia, and was created in 1988. The
 Center is funded by the United States Agency for International
 Development's Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance. CIDI provides
 individuals, groups, embassies and corporations with information and
 guidance in support of appropriate international disaster relief efforts.
 CIDI works with a variety of partners to channel the public's energy and
 desire to help to achieve maximum impact. By reaching out to the American
 public and the private sector, CIDI helps to promote activities and
 donations that will do the most good for disaster victims around the world.
 For more information about CIDI and helping international victims, please

SOURCE Center for International Disaster Information