As Inflation Bites, Americans Trim Charity Spending

By: James Flippin · November 23, 2022 · Reading Time: 3 minutes

Consumer Sentiment Hits Lows

In the face of record inflation and lingering recessionary concerns, people across America are nervous about their financial future.

According to a study conducted by the University of Michigan, household sentiment over the past six months is comparable to late 2008, amid that year’s financial crisis. Consumer sentiment also mirrors 1970s levels, when the rate of inflation was in double digits. Right now, around 95 million people are having difficulty paying for essential expenses.

Consequently, this means that people have less money to donate to charity.

The Season of Giving?

For many families, it comes down to simple math. Prices for essentials like rent, food, and gas are rising. Meanwhile, wages remain relatively stagnant. The result is that families have less discretionary cash left over for charitable donations or gift giving.

An increasing number of families must choose between buying holidays gifts, paying for everyday expenses, or making their annual charity donation. It appears the last was the first to go, with donations down significantly for many of the country’s biggest charities.

Other Ways To Give

Money clearly comes in handy, but in this particularly difficult season of giving, it’s not the only way that you can support charity.

For example, sharing posts from your favorite charity on social media is a great (and free!) way to spread awareness of their cause. And some charities accept supplies as well as monetary donations. If you have toys, canned goods, or gently used clothes you no longer want, now is a great time to donate them to people in need.

Of course, time is the most precious gift. Taking a few moments to help charities by expanding exposure, gathering supplies, or even volunteering is one way to give the gift of time. But also, be sure to be there for family or friends who may be struggling.

At the end of the day, the spirit of the season is defined by the gestures rather than the size of the gifts.

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