In a striking shift in charitable donations methods, Americans under age 40 are now just as likely to give donations to disaster relief through digital means as they are through traditional means like the phone or postal mail.
In the first days after the Japanese disaster, 21% of Americans say they have made a donation to help those affected by the earthquake and tsunami. Another 24% say they plan to make a donation.
More than a third of those who have already donated (36%) say they made their contribution digitally – online, through text messages or e-mail. Among those younger than 40, about as many have donated digitally as through more traditional methods. Older Americans are also more likely than in the past to give to disaster relief efforts via electronic means, but they still prefer traditional methods of giving.
About the Survey
Results for this survey are based on telephone interviews conducted March 17-20 among a national sample of 1,004 adults 18 years of age or older living in the continental United States (673 respondents were interviewed on a landline telephone, and 331 were interviewed on a cell phone, including 144 who had no landline telephone). The survey was conducted by interviewers at Princeton Data Source under the direction of Princeton Survey Research Associates International. A combination of landline and cell phone random digit dial samples were used; both samples were provided by Survey Sampling International. Interviews were conducted in English. Please see the Methodology section
for more information.