Seattle, Nov. 17, 2008
—The weakening U.S. economy will force many U.S. adults to cut back on holiday gift spending this year but will also make some more likely to give a “charitable gift” as a present this holiday season, according to a World Vision survey just conducted by Harris Interactive. The study also finds that only 36 percent of U.S. adults feel they need something for the holidays this year.
“These results underscore our altruistic American culture of giving back”, says Justin Greeves, Harris Interactive senior vice president of public affairs and policy research. “This study, and a recent study by the Giving USA Foundation
(The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University), both show why total charitable giving has increased in 39 of the last 40 years — even during times of recession” says Greeves. The findings are a reflection of our uniquely American values system of helping others in need, which, in turn, makes us, as givers feel good. This generosity may surprise some but shows why it truly ‘Tis better to give than to receive.’”
Findings: As a result of the current economic climate, seven in 10 adults (71 percent) will spend less money on holiday presents this year, and about half (49 percent) are now more likely to give a charitable gift as a holiday present
.More than four in five adults (84 percent) would prefer to receive a meaningful gift that would help someone else rather than a traditional holiday gift such as clothing or electronics. More than half of U.S. adults (57 percent) want something for the holidays this year, but only about one in three (36 percent) say they need something.More than half (54 percent) couldn’t remember what they received. More women (60 percent) remember exactly what they got for Christmas last year than men (49 percent).
These results on charitable giving are encouraging to organizations like World Vision. As the worsening U.S. economy puts pressure on millions of Americans this holiday season, World Vision’s Gift Catalog
offers an economical way to remember those on your holiday shopping list in a meaningful way. “It takes so little money to make a big difference in someone's life through the Gift Catalog”, says World Vision’s Devin Hermanson, senior director for gift catalog.
“And a gift given from the Gift Catalog
significantly improves the life of a child or family in need by providing tools and opportunities to overcome extreme poverty while at the same time honoring your friends and loved ones”, says Hermanson. “While families in the United States face decisions about where to cut back, families in other countries may be facing much harder decisions, like how to provide food for their children.”
For each World Vision gift, the giver can make the purchase in the name of a friend, family member or business associate. World Vision then sends special cards to those individuals, describing the gifts and their impact. In the following year, the gift itself or intervention reaches the child or family in need.
Last year alone, World Vision’s Gift Catalog
raised $21 million and provided assistance to more than 500,000 people around the world.
World Vision launched the Gift Catalog
in 1996. And while a goat ($75) may be World Vision’s number one seller, there are more than 100 gifts (many under $35) to choose from.
To order: www.worldvisiongifts.org
. Or call toll-free (888) 511-6511. All items are tax-deductible.
Additional media contacts:
Gardi Wilks (Central U.S.) email@example.com,
Laura Blank (Eastern U.S.) firstname.lastname@example.org
Myrna Gutierrez (L.A. & Southern California) email@example.com
John Yeager (Seattle & Western U.S.) firstname.lastname@example.org
The poll was conducted by telephone on behalf of World Vision, an international Christian relief and development organization, among 1,001 US adults (ages 18 +) between Oct. 23
and Oct. 26, 2008. For complete methodology, including weighing variables — please contact John Yeager
.World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. We serve all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. For more information, please visit www.worldvision.org/press.