An update to the 2020 nationwide study conducted by DickersonBakker that shed light on how COVID-19 would impact charitable giving to faith-based nonprofits.

The 2021 update reveals how the pandemic is impacting giving to nonprofits and proves that donors are rising to the challenge of COVID-19 and giving more than ever before.

Several news reports published during the second half of 2020 reported many nonprofit leaders were concerned about a downturn in giving due to economic conditions related to the COVID pandemic.

DickersonBakker’s study – “Charitable Giving in the Wake of COVID-19” – published during the same timeframe, reported a significant number of donors planned to give more in 2020 than they had in 2019. As a result of the study, we concluded that fears of a significant downturn in giving were largely unwarranted. This most recent study, as well as others, proves the findings of our original study to be correct.

“This study reinforces what many of our clients have been seeing all throughout this pandemic. Americans – particularly faith-based Americans – do not fall back in times of crisis. They step up and give. Once all the data is in, I think it will show that Americans gave at record-setting levels last year, which should be heartening news to nonprofit leaders across the country.” – Derric Bakker, President of DickersonBakker

This new study confirms now is not the time to retrench. In the face of crisis, donors are clearly still very willing to give, even at significantly higher levels than before. Every indication is that giving – particularly to faith-based nonprofits – did not decline in 2020. In fact, the opposite appears to be true.

With financial markets and other underlying economic indicators holding steady and/or growing in strength, donors are rising to the challenge of COVID-19 and giving more than ever before. Barring any further major economic setbacks, with the worst behind us, we expect this trend will continue for the foreseeable future.

This online survey of 1,079 US adult donors was conducted from May 29 to June 22, 2020, by DickersonBakker’s research specialist, Dr. Paul Virts. Dr. Virts has a doctorate in communication research and over 30 years of professional experience conducting marketing and donor research. The margin of error of this study is ±3% at the 95% confidence level. Those who were invited to participate were understood to have given at least $1,000 to one faith-based nonprofit organization in 2018 and/or in 2019.

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