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No slow-down for Red Cross donations

2:57 pm December 6th, 2012

A new poll conducted for the American Red Cross shows that most Americans say that their giving to political causes in 2012 and Hurricane Sandy relief efforts will not reduce their year-end gifts to charity. And that’s good news to the Pierce County chapter of Red Cross.
A telephone survey of 1,010 adults conducted earlier this month found that 78 percent of those who have already given to Hurricane Sandy relief efforts say it will not impact their year-end charitable giving, while 90 percent of those who gave to political causes say it will not reduce their giving to non-profits this holiday season.
“We are grateful for the generous donations by the American public for the Red Cross response to Superstorm Sandy as well as their support for the work of the Red Cross here in Western Washington,” said Tracy Peacock, chapter executive for the Mount Rainier Red Cross that includes Pierce County. “The Red Cross, like other non-profits, relies on funding throughout the year to support its mission to help those who need our help.
“Beyond large-scale disasters, the Red Cross responds to the needs of the community every day through attending to home fire victims, members of the Armed Forces and those seeking preparedness information.”
The Red Cross assists local families affected by a disaster almost every 48 hours in our community. “The Red Cross helps people in need everywhere and every day, and financial donations are critical to allowing us to serve our community,” said Peacock. “Even as the Red Cross is responding to Sandy, we are helping people here in our community as well, just as we do all year round.”
Those who would like to donate to support the work of the Red Cross can visit redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
Red Cross officials said other key findings of the survey include:
• The most popular ways people give are by putting money aside in a canister or giving to someone who is asking for a donation in a public place (both 56 percent) and mailing a check (52 percent). One in five (21 percent) say they have used a charity’s website to donate over the past 12 months.
• Friends are influential in American’s charitable gift decisions, as half of all donors (51 percent) say they would donate if a friend talked to them personally about a charity.
• Of social media users polled, 68 percent say they would take time to learn more about a charity if they see a friend posting about it; about half (51 percent) say they would have more respect for a friend that posts about a charitable donation and nearly four in ten (39 percent) said they would donate themselves.
 While a majority of those polled said prior giving to political causes and Hurricane Sandy relief efforts will not impact their year-end financial donations, fewer Americans plan to give to charity this year than last year. The survey found that 52 percent of Americans are planning to donate to charity this season, down from 57 percent the last two years from previous Red Cross surveys.
Giving by those who do plan to donate to a nonprofit may be less: while 49 percent of those planning to give will give more than $50; nearly half (46 percent) say they will give less than $50. Last year, 39 percent of Americans who planned to give said they would give less than $50. 
Polltakers contacted adults 18 years and older on Nov. 8-11. ORC International used a landline-cell dual-frame sampling design. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, according to a pollilng spokesman.
As Americans look for more meaningful ways to give this holiday season, the Red Cross is offering its 2012 Holiday Giving Catalog, which includes a variety of symbolic gifts, donations that support Red Cross programs.
 Donors can help vaccinate an entire village, provide food and shelter to a disaster victim, help purchase items like phone cards and supplies for members of the armed forces or help supply basic necessities to families in desperate need in countries across the world. Catalog purchases also come with greeting cards to show others your support during the holidays. The purchase of each gift item is a tax-deductible contribution and provides support to the mission of the Red Cross.
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families.

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