Poll: Charitable Giving Hits Record Low In United States. People Still Donating Time To COVID-19 Relief Efforts

RYAD KRAMDI/AFP via Getty Images

Font Size:

The percentage of Americans who reported giving to charity has hit a new low, a new Gallup poll shows. 

73 percent of Americans reported giving to a charitable cause in the last year, surpassing the prior low of 79 percent during the Great Recession in 2009. In past years, the poll typically found that more than 80 percent of U.S. adults reported giving to charity. 

Volunteer activity is at 58 percent, slightly higher than the 55 percent of adults who reported volunteering in 2009. However, the number is down from 2017 when 64 percent of adults said they had volunteered in the past year. 

The poll also found that charitable giving has fallen the most in lower and middle-class households. The gap between lower-income and upper-income adults has expanded from 19 percent in 2017 to 31 percent. (RELATED: Robert Kraft Auctions Off His Super Bowl LI Ring For Charity During The Coronavirus Pandemic)

As unemployment continues to skyrocket and people are in desperate need of financial assistance, fewer individuals are in a position to help. The number of unemployment claims filed since the start of the pandemic is more than 36 million, and there were nearly 3 million jobless claims in the past week, according to data from the Department of Labor.

The Pew Research Center found that lower-income households were hit hardest by the economic effects of the pandemic. This month, about half of lower-income Americans reported losing their jobs or experiencing wage disruption. 

People are still donating their time to coronavirus relief efforts. The Gallup poll found that around 3 out of 10 Americans said they had either volunteered for or given money to charitable causes specifically related to COVID-19.