Monday, November 29, 2010

Red Cross Poll Shows Signs of Hope in Tough Economy

Red Cross Survey Finds Three of Five People Planning Charitable Gifts this Holiday Season Will Give More Than $50, Even in Tough Economy

Donating to charity is an important holiday tradition, with many families planning to give at least $50 to charitable groups during this holiday season, according to a survey by the American Red Cross.

The national survey, taken October 21-24, found that nearly six in 10 of those surveyed plan to donate to charities between Thanksgiving and the end of the year. Of that group, 57 percent said they would give $50 or more, including 31 percent who said they plan to donate more than $100 this holiday season.

“It’s heartening to see that even in this tough economy, charitable giving remains important to people during this holiday season, and the Vermont & New Hampshire Valley Region is encouraging people to consider a gift to the Red Cross that can save the day for those in need,” said Larry Crist, Regional Executive.

In the last year, the Vermont & New Hampshire Valley Region of the American Red Cross responded to over 100 disasters, predominately coming to the aid of families put out of their homes by fire, but also opening community shelters during times of need. The Red Cross responded just yesterday to a fire in Randolph. Additionally, across our region, over 21,000 people received Red Cross training in live-saving skills such as First Aid and CPR. The Red Cross also provided assistance to members of the armed forces, especially important in a year when the Vermont Guard saw such a large deployment.

“We are working very hard to raise money now so the Red Cross will be there tomorrow with help and hope when people need it most,” Crist said.

Red Cross offers “Gifts that Save the Day” in Holiday Giving Campaign

With many people doing their holiday shopping online, the Red Cross is offering a range of more than 20 giving options in its holiday giving catalog ( for those who want to make a donation in the name of someone else. The Red Cross also offers a Spanish-language version of the online catalog (

The gift ideas include donations equal to the costs of providing food and shelter to someone in a shelter, vaccinations, blankets, and phone cards and comfort kits for members of the military.

The purchase of each gift item is a tax-deductible contribution to the overall mission of the American Red Cross. On the rare occasion when donations exceed the need in a particular area, we will use your contribution to help others where the need is greatest.

Helping Less Fortunate Important Part of Holiday Tradition

The Red Cross survey found that 78 percent of respondents said that helping someone less fortunate is an important part of the holiday tradition for them, and more than half (54 percent) said that donating to charity helps them get into the holiday spirit.

The Red Cross survey found that 86 percent of respondents said their personal finances were worse or the same as last year. However, 72 percent plan to donate more or about the same to charity this holiday season as last year.

Practical Gifts More Popular in 2010

The Red Cross survey found that more than a third (36 percent) said they plan to buy more useful and practical gifts such as clothing, gift cards and household items, with less than one in 10 (7 percent) planning to buy more unique and fun gifts. More than half – 51 percent – said their gift-buying would be about the same this year as last.

In addition, the Red Cross survey found that more than half (53 percent) agreed that a good way to give more to charities is to ask someone to donate to charity instead of buying gifts.

*These results are based on a national probability sample of 1,005 telephone interviews among adults 18 years and older living in private households in the continental United States, conducted from October 21-24, 2010. The margin of error for data based on total sample is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. The survey was conducted by CARAVAN®, an omnibus service of Infogroup ORC for American Red Cross.