Eighty-one percent of Americans say they donated money to a religious or other charitable organization in the past year, and 56% volunteered time to such an organization. After dipping in April 2020 during the early stages of the pandemic, charitable donations have rebounded and are essentially back to the level measured in 2013 and 2017 surveys.
Volunteer activity also dropped in 2020 but, in contrast to charitable giving, remains lower than it was in pre-pandemic surveys. While lower today than in recent years, the rate of volunteering has been at its current level in the past, most notably during the Great Recession.
With respect to donations, the bounce back from 2020 appears to be confined mostly to secular giving. Forty-four percent of Americans say they gave money to religious organizations in the past year, unchanged from 2020, which was the lowest in Gallup’s trend by a significant margin.
Meanwhile, 74% say they gave money to another charitable cause, up from 64% a year ago and essentially the same as the 75% who did so in 2013 and 2017.
Over time, as formal church membership has declined, so too have donations to religious organizations. The 44% of U.S. adults donating to a religious organization nearly matches the 47% who belong to a church, synagogue, mosque or temple.