World

Charitable Giving Differs in Canada, U.K., and U.S.

Britons more likely to report giving money; Americans, Canadians more likely to say they volunteer

WASHINGTON D.C. -- With the holiday shopping season in full swing in many countries, charitable organizations are also managing the busiest giving season of the year. Gallup Poll data collected earlier this year asked respondents in Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States about their inclination to give money and time to charities and organizations or to help strangers in need. Compared with Americans and Canadians, Britons are more likely to say they have donated money and less likely to say they have volunteered time in the month before the survey.

When asked whether they had donated money to a charity in the last month, 73% of British respondents say "yes," compared with 64% of U.S. respondents and 60% in Canada.

But many people also choose to give "priceless" gifts. At least 4 in 10 U.S. (44%) and Canadian respondents (39%) say they volunteered time to an organization in the past month, compared with only 23% in the United Kingdom. When Gallup asked whether they had helped a stranger in need in the last month, roughly two-thirds of Canadians (64%) and Americans (66%) say they had, while slightly fewer Britons (59%) say the same.

In Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States, those who say religion is an important part of their daily lives are more likely than those who don't to say they have donated money and volunteered time. In both cases, the differences are most pronounced in the United States. Seventy-one percent of U.S. respondents who say religion is important in their lives also say they donated money to charity in the last month, while 50% of those who say religion is not important say they donated. The gap is somewhat smaller in regard to volunteering time. Fifty percent of U.S. respondents who say religion is important say they volunteered time, compared with 34% among respondents who say religion is not important.

The importance of religion does not appear to be a factor in Canadians' or Americans' likelihood to report being a good Samaritan. Respondents in Canada and the United States who say religion is an important part of their daily lives are no more likely than those who say it is not to say they had helped a stranger in need in the last month. However, in the United Kingdom, those who say religion is an important part of their daily lives are more likely by -- 17 percentage points -- to say they had helped a stranger.

Survey Methods

Results are based on telephone interviews with 1,204 adults in the United Kingdom, conducted between December 2006 and January 2007, using random-digit dialing to reach a representative sample of the total 15 and older adult population. For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±3 percentage points. In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

Results are based on telephone interviews with 1,225 adult participants in a randomly recruited panel of households in the United States, aged 18 and older, conducted August 2007. For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±3 percentage points. In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

Results are based on telephone interviews with 1,010 adults in Canada, aged 15 and older, conducted in August and September 2007. For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±3 percentage points. In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

Gallup http://www.gallup.com/poll/102961/Charitable-Giving-Differs-Canada-UK-US.aspx Gallup World Headquarters, 901 F Street, Washington, D.C., 20001, U.S.A +1 202.715.3030