71% of Americans Say Debt Keeps Them from Donating More to Charity

Staff Report

Thursday, October 24th, 2019

While nearly two-thirds of Americans have donated to charity over the last year, 71% say that debt keeps them from giving more, according to a new LendingTree survey. It's a sentiment that makes sense given that the average debt-carrying household in 2018 owed roughly $144,100.

Key Findings

71% of Americans reported that their debt keeps them from donating as much as they'd like to charity.

56% of respondents said they don't make enough money to donate.

About two-thirds of respondents made a charitable donation within the last year, and 34% did so more than once.

56% percent said they make recurring donations, meaning they donate to the same charity or organization once a month or more often.

The top 3 most popular causes among donors are: animals (34%), health (31%), and human services (26%). Younger generations were more likely to donate to animal- and environmental-related causes, while older Americans donated to more religious causes.

One-third of Americans have contributed to a crowdfunding campaign within the last year, and 27% have donated to a cause through a social media friend's Facebook birthday fundraiser.

If given additional funds to donate, 22% of respondents said they'd want to contribute to an animal-related cause.

When asked why they make charitable donations, most (67%) expressed a simple motivation: They want to help others in need. One in 10 cited tax deductions as a reason.