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Haiti giving reflects donor differences

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PJ staff report

The outpouring of charitable giving in the wake of the earthquake in Haiti reinforced the fact that people who give for emergency relief differ from everyday donors, a new study says.

Thirty-eight percent of Americans gave to help Haiti, including 52 percent of donors who regularly give to nonprofits, says the Heart of the Donor: Insights into Donor Motivation and Behavior for the 21st Century.

And nearly 30 of percent Haiti givers did not support any other causes in the last year, says the study, which was commissioned and created by Russ Reid, a part of Omnicom Group, and conducted by Grey Matter Research & Consulting with over 2,000 participants.

While four in 10 donors said would have given to other causes if they had not given to Haiti, 58 percent said their Haiti giving was in addition to what they normally give.

Haiti was a first-time giving impulse for 3 percent of all Americans, or 6.7 million people, the study says.

Haiti giving reflected huge differences in the giving vehicles donors used, with text-to-give contributions making a big impact.

Thirty-two percent of donors gave to nonprofits working in Haiti through places of worship, 22 percent gave online, and 19 percent gave through texting.

Asked if limits on text donations led to lower donations, text givers say they would have given through another channel had texting not been available.

“The Haiti experience reminds us that emergency donors and everyday donors are different, Lisa McIntyre, senior vice president for strategy development at Russ Reid, says in a statement. “And the best donors will give over and above what they normally do, not instead of what they typically give.”

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