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 www.cidi.org. 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 visit http://www.cidi.org.
SOURCE Center for International Disaster Information