Americans Are Generous Contributors for Noble Causes

Generosity Survey Displays Common Behavioral Patterns of People’s Preferences for Charities

Findings of a telephonic survey of ‘Opinion Research Corporation’, established that almost ninety-five percent of the American adults contribute in charities. The charity includes an investment of either time or the money. American adults have their own reasons and choices for charities. The ‘Opinion Research Corporation’ conducted 2007 Day Timers Generosity Survey in collaboration with the Day Timers Inc.

The survey results throw light on the charity behavior of the Americans. It reveals that among all income groups, the individuals who earn $25,000-$30,000 are the maximum contributors for charities dedicated to different causes. Contributions as donations and charities may subject to anyone of the  causes including healthcare, community needs, humanitarian services, politics and national or international issues, development, and ethnic issues. There are hardly 2% individuals, from this income group, who have no interest in charities, say the survey report.

Information gathered from the participants of the survey falls in to four different income groups with the percentage of individuals of a particular income group contributing for some specific cause. This is interesting to note that more than 72% of the Americans prefer to contribute for health related causes. “It is not surprising to us that the causes, most people contribute to, are health-related,” said Woytek of “DayTimers”. 

Facts of the survey indicate that people belonging to every income group have their own motives and motivations for contributing to a particular cause. Nearly 68% of the adults from 18-24 age groups choose to donate by purchasing products with a part of the costs going to charities.

The survey results bring out a definite pattern of people’s preferences for causes of charities. Almost 63% of the Americans contribute to community needs and human services. Educational contribution matters for 61% and religious contributions and environmental issues carry meaning for 53% of the individuals while 41% prefer animal rights, 39% choose political issues, and 24% like to contribute for ethnic causes.

The survey attempts to analyze the difference in the contribution pattern among men and women. It is interesting to find out that females excel in donating their time and money both. Men are only ahead of women in contributing to political causes. Six percent men and just 2% women have no choice for any contribution.A desire to give back to the community is the main driving force and motivating factor for almost 84% of the adult Americans, survey findings reveal. Nearly 92% individuals trust that their contribution will make a difference. More than 71% people donated because  they were aware of someone in suffering and 65% individuals contributed just because they themselves were the sufferers .For 27% of them it is an opportunity for tax saving while 24% people are just impressing others by donating.

The level of donations and contributions also vary from individual to individual. More than 24% individuals contribute more than $1,000 every year and 48% shell out $100-$1,000 per year. Seven percent people donate only $1-$25 in a year. There are 2% investing their time and efforts exclusively.

Survey concludes with a satisfaction on the motivation of the Americans for contributing to the noble causes. 

How Things Are:Let’s Learn the REFLECT Way

REFLECT is an acronym for “Regenerated Freirean Literacy through Empowering Community Techniques”. The REFLECT concept is based on the Theory of Conscientization. A Brazilian Educator “Paulo Freire” conceptualized and pioneered this approach. “Action-Aid” then further developed this approach with its programs in 1993. First application of this innovative approach was in El Salvador (South America), Bangladesh, (Asia) and Uganda.

REFLECT relies on volunteer facilitators chosen from among men and women in the community who can read and write Emphasis lies upon dialogue and action, awareness raising, cooperation and empowerment. It opens new horizons for exploring development challenges and to find ways to overcome them. The empowering process gives an opportunity to freely discuss any issues including sensitive cultural traditions.

REFLECT Circles are actually the best-organized groups in the local areas. These could be better used in the annual planning process and to analyze community problems. REFLECT circles become focal points for discussion of community problems such as water, roads, soil fertility, health and HIV/AIDS, agriculture, and the factors causing poverty. Small-scale income generating activities may be initiated. These create an opportunity to explore effective collective action.

Gender disparity may be reduced among REFLECT Circles members. Families may learn to share the workload and to plan together in the best interest of the family. Participation of women is increased in meetings with enhanced confidence and talk in public and to take part in active discussions. It helps women to make sincere efforts to develop the abilities to get their voices heard.

There is increased awareness among people. They get to know that their problems are not “God-Given “.This awareness is not  merely the result of telling them “How Things are “, but  it brings in a process whereby people learnt through experience. This allows them to question their reality independently. It changes their attitudes and the way they look into things. They know that there is a lot they can do for themselves instead of waiting for the government to do everything for them.

REFLECT is now used in over 60 countries to tackle problems in agriculture, HIV/AIDS, conflict resolution and peace building.