New 2010 Holiday Study: Canadians More Green Than Americans but Americans More Charitable

Dec 14, 2010, 08:00 ET from World Vision U.S.

New World Vision Survey Finds Struggling Economy Hurts Charitable Giving

More Americans Plan to Increase Giving Once Economy Improves

SEATTLE, Dec. 14, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As holiday shoppers on both sides of the U.S.-Canadian border search for deals, a new study reveals Americans appear to be more charitable than Canadians this holiday season while more Canadians will consider gifts that benefit the environment. The new study, commissioned by relief and development organization World Vision, finds Canadian adults are more likely than their U.S. counterparts to prefer giving (79 % Canada vs. 69 % U.S.) and receiving (77 % Canada vs. 68 % U.S.) gifts that benefit the environment.

The study, conducted by telephone in November, 2010 by Harris Interactive, also suggests American holiday shoppers are harder hit by the tough economy than Canadians. According to the survey, Americans are more likely to say that as a result of the economic climate, they will spend less money on holiday gifts this year (69 % U.S. vs. 61 % Canada) and are now more likely to give charitable gifts as holiday presents (51 % U.S. vs. 42 % Canada).  

Despite early projections of a robust holiday season for U.S. retailers, according to the study, more Americans, almost 7 out of 10 (69 %), say they'll spend less on holiday presents this year as a result of the current economic climate. Last year, just over half (only 57 %) said they would. U.S. adults are more likely than Canadian adults to prefer to receive meaningful gifts that would help others instead of traditional gifts like clothing or electronics (80% U.S. vs. 73% Canada).


U.S. adults are more likely than Canadian adults to say it is especially important to help children (95% U.S. vs. 92% Canada) and the poor (94% U.S. vs. 91% Canada) during the holiday season.

Americans are also more likely to say they plan to increase their charitable giving once the economy improves (71% U.S. vs. 64% Canada).

According to the World Vision survey, conducted by telephone by Harris Interactive in November, 2010, the tough economy will affect holiday shoppers in the United States harder than it will hit Canadians. This is the third year World Vision has commissioned Harris Interactive to conduct research on how charitable giving would be affected by the recession. This is the first year the U.S. and Canada have been included in the same comprehensive study.

"This survey shows that, during uncertain economic times, Americans are helping those in need," says Devin Hermanson, World Vision U.S. Gift Catalog Senior Director. "Even more so than our neighbors to the north, Americans are determined to reach out with charitable gifts like those found in the World Vision Gift Catalog this Christmas season."

For each World Vision gift, the giver can make the purchase in the name of a friend, family member, or business associate. World Vision then sends special cards to those individuals, describing the gifts and their impact. In the following year, the gift itself or intervention reaches the child or family in need.

Last year alone, the World Vision U.S. Gift Catalog raised $27 million and provided assistance to 675,000 people around the world. This year's projected goal: $32 million. In 2009, the World Vision Canada Gift Catalogue raised more than $18 million. World Vision launched the Gift Catalog in 1996. Since then it's raised over $130 million dollars. And while a goat ($75) may be World Vision's number one seller, there are more than 100 gifts (many under $35) to choose from.

To order in Canada or call toll-free 800-844-7993

World Vision Canada Gift Catalogue on Facebook:

To order in the United States: or call toll-free 888-511-6511.

World Vision U.S. Gift Catalog on Facebook:

Canada media:

Molly Finlay, Director, World Vision Canada - Public Relations is available for interviews.

Contact: Jane Bargout

World Vision Canada - Media Relations 416-716-9738 (mobile)

United States media

Devin Hermanson - World Vision U.S. (holiday gift giving expert) is available for interviews.

Contact: John Yeager

World Vision U.S. - Media Relations 425-765-9845 (mobile)

Additional U.S. media contacts:

Gardi Wilks (Central US) 708-434-5006 (office) 708-205-5020 (mobile)

The poll was conducted by telephone within the U.S. and Canada by Harris Interactive on behalf of World Vision, an international Christian relief and development organization, among 1,021 U.S. adults (ages 18 +)  and 1,042 Canadian adults (ages 18+) between Nov 3 - Nov 7, 2010. For complete methodology, including weighing variables – please contact John Yeager.

About World Vision

World Vision is a Christian relief and development organization dedicated to helping children and their communities worldwide reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty. We serve the world's poor, regardless of a person's religion, race, ethnicity or gender. For more information, visit

SOURCE World Vision U.S.