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When it comes to donations, who gives what, how much and when? Here are some numbers (and tips)

By in Press Enterprise on November 21, 2017

By Kurt Snibbe

With Thanksgiving just days away, we look at who gives what, how much and when. Spoiler alert: Donations are up, but volunteering time is not.

Giving online

More and more people are donating online. Darker areas show when the most online donations were made in the past 365 days. There was a spike in donations during the hurricane season in early September. The peak time for donations is typically late December, when taxpayers often seek last-minute write-offs.

The Chronicle of Philanthropy has an interactive graphic regarding online donations here.

California contributions

When it comes to online contributions, California leads the nation, with $57 million to all causes. Human-services groups received the most, $14.6 million. Here’s a look at the leading online contributions by ZIP code.

CaliforniaOverall donations

While the online donations mentioned above totaled more than $312 million in the past 12 months, overall donations in the U.S. are 10 times that.

total donationspercentage of donationsVolunteering

According to the Corporation for National & Community Service’s 2015 data, California ranks 34th out of 50 states and the District of Columbia. While nearly half of the state’s residents donate money, less than a quarter (23.9%) volunteer. The percentage of those volunteering has declined each year since 2011.

Volunteering charts

Tips on giving

1. Do your research: 75 percent of donors don’t do any research. Do not be one of them. Don’t be tempted to donate impulsively when you receive a phone call or a knock on the door. Take the time to look up the charity you want to support and verify that its money is being used wisely. Check the website for the charity’s mission, program and finances. If the information isn’t available there, look it up on

2. Eliminate the middleman: Even if you like the pitch given by a telemarketer, don’t donate […]    

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