America's 2021 Charity Index


Despite Covid, 55% of People Still Giving to Charity. 2020 was a challenging year, to say the least, and one that negatively impacted many people financially. Despite that, a recent Realtime Research survey by Invisibly shows that 55% of Americans still gave to charity in 2020, and many plan to continue that trend in 2021.

Overview Results

Data from Invisibly’s Realtime Research survey shows that the majority of respondents gave to charity in 2020. While respondents said that Covid-19 impacted the amount they donated, with some inspired to give more and some prevented from giving more, it is hard to measure what these respondents would donate in a normal year. Additionally, while some were inspired to give more because of the pandemic and the majority of respondents did donate in 2020, it is surprising that the majority of respondents said they do not plan on giving to charity in 2021.

INV-charity survey-display

  • 55% gave to charities in 2020. Out of these people, 17% gave more than 10 times during the year.

  • 25% donated between $1-$500 during the year. Only 11% gave more than $5,000 

  • 45% said that Covid impacted the amount they donated to charity. 20% said Covid inspired them to donate more and 25% said Covid prevented them from donating more.

  • 51% of people don’t plan on giving to charity in 2021. 

  • 28% plan to give more than they gave to charity in 2020.

  • 49% of people research charities that align with their values to find out who to give to. 22% rely on social media to hear about charities. 29% rely on friends and family to make suggestions. 54% of people said the reason they donate to charity is because they like to help people. Only 15% claimed it’s due to the tax write-off, but surprisingly 12% were bold enough to admit it’s because they want the recognition.


The Process

Invisibly’s Realtime Research surveyed 3842 people, and we asked them:

  1. Invisibly’s Realtime Research surveyed 3842 people, and we asked them:
  2. How many times did you contribute to charity during 2020?
  3. If you gave anything to charity, how much did you donate for the entire year?
  4. Did Covid-19 impact your charitable giving habits during 2020?
  5. Are you planning on donating to charities in 2021?
  6. How do you primarily choose which charity to give to?
  7. What is the primary reason you give to charity?
  • How do you primarily choose which charity to give to?
INV-PR Survey-Charity survey-Plot 1
INV-PR Survey-Charity survey-Plot 2
Invisibly Realtime Research surveys differ from traditional online surveys in that the questions are shown to the user on web pages in place of an ad. Unlike Google Surveys, which block access to content until the questions are answered, Realtime Research surveys are optional, thus ensuring that participants are responding voluntarily.
Scott Weinberg for his help with the project.

Dr. Don Vaughn, Ph.D.

Dr. Don Vaughn is a neuroscientist, futurist, and communicator. As Head of Product at Invisibly, he is envisioning a better future by enabling people to take control of their personal data. He leverages his understanding of the brain to predict how people will use—and be used by—technology. Since graduating from Stanford, over 1 million people have viewed his TEDx talk. He has been featured on ABC, ESPN, Bloomberg and more.