Giving Back During the Holidays – Charitable Donations Increase by 42% During Holiday Months of November and December

San Francisco, Brooklyn and Seattle Embrace Holidays as Season of Giving Back

85 Percent of American Adults Have Donated to a Charitable Organization

SAN FRANCISCO--(), the largest online platform for social activism, today released results from a December 2010 online survey conducted on its behalf by Harris Interactive regarding Americans’ habits for donating money to charity. The survey found that 85 percent of Americans have donated to a charitable organization and that among them, 34 percent are more likely to make contributions during Holiday season. Additionally, Causes released its list of top cities that give the most during the holidays with New York City, Los Angeles, and San Francisco topping the list.

The Holiday season is definitely the time of year that many Americans feel like giving back. According to Causes, donation amounts on the site increase by 42% during November and December compared to other months throughout the remainder of the year. Also, three times as many people make donations during the Holidays vs. non-Holiday months.

To make it easier for people to donate to various charities and non-profits during this time of year, Causes recently expanded the company’s Wish service to include Holidays such as Thanksgiving, Hanukah, Christmas and New Years. Through Holiday Wish, people can create a personalized fundraising page that is shareable with friends throughout the Holiday season, building upon the concept that everyone can be a philanthropist and bring about lasting effects by engaging their community of friends, family and colleagues. Getting ordinary people to raise money in small amounts from their close friends has huge potential and Causes’ Wish program has raised nearly $9 million in a little more than one year.

“Imagine how much positive social change can be affected if people have an easy way to donate on multiple occasions through the year,” said Joe Green, co-founder and President of “We want to empower everyone to help support and raise donations for the many wonderful charities and services that do good 365 days out of the year.”

Why People Donate

The survey found that half of American adults who have contributed to charitable organizations do so because a friend/family member is raising money for a specific cause. Also, 50 percent of adults cited that they wanted to do something positive for their community. Other motivators shared by people who have donated to charity include:

  • Specific event taking place such as a natural disaster – 45 percent
  • Someone close has died or is suffering from a disease/ailment – 39 percent
  • To feel good about themselves during the holidays – 17 percent
  • To commemorate a special occasion – 12 percent
  • Needed a tax write off – 10 percent

Top U.S. Cities That Give Back During the Holidays

Several cities experienced double-digit increases in charitable donations during the Holidays compared to other months throughout the year.* Top cities include:

  • San Francisco, California – 56% increase in giving during the Holidays
  • Brooklyn, New York – 41% increase in giving during Holidays
  • Seattle, Washington – 30% increase in giving during Holidays
  • New York City/Manhattan, New York – 29% increase in giving during Holidays
  • Portland, Oregon – 24% increase in giving during Holidays
  • Houston, Texas – 21% increase in giving during Holidays
  • Washington D.C. – 12% increase in giving during Holidays
  • Los Angeles, California – 11% increase in giving during Holidays

Causes envisions that people may want to set up a dedicated cause for occasions like a wedding, or graduation, and encourage friends and family to make donations rather than give gifts. For more details visit:

*Based on Causes’ Data - Per Capita


This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of from December 7-9, 2010 among 2,257 adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Paul Loeffler – paul at sutherlandgold dot com.

About is a mission-driven company dedicated to empowering anyone with passion for change to impact the world. By building tools for individuals to mobilize their network of friends to grow lasting social and political movements, is currently the largest online platform for activism and one of the top ten Facebook applications. With 120 million registered users, and over $130 million raised for charities through the platform, Causes is just getting started. To find out more and get involved, go to

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About Harris Interactive

Harris Interactive is one of the world’s leading custom market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers expertise in a wide range of industries including healthcare, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer package goods. Serving clients in over 215 countries and territories through our North American, European, and Asian offices and a network of independent market research firms, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help us – and our clients – stay ahead of what’s next. For more information, please visit


On Behalf of Causes
Paul Loeffler, 510-593-6765
paul at sutherlandgold dot com


On Behalf of Causes
Paul Loeffler, 510-593-6765
paul at sutherlandgold dot com