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Arizona Giving and Volunteering Survey (2009)


These data were collected in the summer of 2009 as part of Morrison Institute's Arizona Indicators Panel study. This survey asked Arizonans about their household's charitable giving and their individual volunteering during all of 2008. This wave of the Arizona Indicators Panel study was organized by the ASU Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation for its periodic reporting on giving and volunteering in Arizona.

Summary of Arizona Giving and Volunteering
Percentage of households that gave to a charitable organization 77.3%
Average annual household contribution (donors only) $1,609
Average percentage of household income contributed to nonprofits (donors only) 2.8%
Percentage of Arizonans who volunteered 33.3%
Average time donated per week (volunteers only) 4 hours
Data Source: 

Data were collected in 2009 through a survey of the Arizona Indicators Panel. Survey results were published by ASU Lodestar Center for Philanthropy & Nonprofit Innovation in the Arizona Giving and Volunteering report.

The report can be found at the link below:

Data Quality Comments: 

Of the approximately 1,000 Arizonans on the Arizona Indicators Panel, 687 responded to the giving and volunteering survey online. Household representatives come from all Arizona counties, and 27 chose to complete the survey in Spanish. Economically disadvantaged respondents may receive the benefit of computer hardware and internet access necessary for participation in the panel, which facilitates their involvement in the study. The final data are weighted to account for under-representations of several major demographic characteristics, such as the sex, age, and race of respondent.

Volunteering numbers differ between sources. The Corporation for National and Community Service reports Arizona estimates from the Current Population Survey, collected by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. For 2008, the Current Population Survey places the Arizona volunteering rate at 25 percent. For 2008, the Arizona Indicators Panel survey places the Arizona volunteering rate at 33 percent. When directly compared, both survey methods have strengths and weaknesses. The true volunteering rate likely falls in between these two estimates.

iconMedian Giving by Household Income (2009)

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Visualization Notes:

In general, higher charitable contributions come from households with higher incomes. The typical donor household with less than $20,000 in income gave $50 in 2008, although larger donors in this category bring the average (mean) up to $236. On the other hand, the typical donor household with over $150,000 in income gave $1,767. The average for this group grows to $2,926.

iconBreakout of Giving by Scope of Services (2009)

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Visualization Notes:

At 64 percent, a large majority of giving goes to local organization. This squares with the fact that most individual charitable giving goes to churches and other faith organizations, most of which are local. Surprisingly, giving to national and international causes is as popular as giving to causes that focus on Arizona. Study respondents estimate that nearly a quarter of their giving goes to causes outside of Arizona.

iconPercent of Households that Volunteer by Income (2009)

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Visualization Notes:

Households with higher incomes tended to give much more to charitable organizations than lower income families. However, while higher income families have a lot more money, they have the same number of hours in the day as low income families. As a result, the graph of volunteering (yes/no) by household income results in an unclear relationship. People from the lowest income families have a lower likeihood of volunteering, perhaps because they are more likely to be recipients of services than volunteer providers. Once household income reaches $50,000 a year, the likelihood of volunteering hovers in the neighborhood of 45 percent, regardless of how wealthy the family becomes.

iconCauses for Which We Volunteer (2009)

  Percent of Arizonans who Volunteer Average time per week* Median time per week*
Causes for Which We Volunteer
At or through congregation 19.1% 2 hours, 4 minutes 52 minutes
To serve children or youth 19.0% 1 hour, 37 minutes 41 minutes
To serve other people in need 12.5% 52 minutes 14 minutes
To serve seniors 11.3% 1 hour, 18 minutes 28 minutes
To serve people in poor health 7.3% 1 hour, 16 minutes 35 minutes
To promote social change 5.9% 1 hour 10 minutes
For other purposes 8.0% 2 hours, 47 minutes 1 hour, 9 minutes
For any formal charitable organization 33.3% 4 hours 1 hour, 48 minutes
Visualization Notes: 

Volunteering through one’s congregation or volunteering for programs that serve children or youth far outpace other volunteer efforts. Out of the 4 hours that Arizona volunteers average per week, more than half of it is spent in support of their faith community.

iconVolunteers by Demographic Characteristics (2009)

  Percent who volunteer Average time per week* Median time per week*
Volunteers by Demographic Characteristics
  Male 34.1% 3 hours, 49 minutes 1 hour, 23 minutes
  Female 32.6% 4 hours, 9 minutes 1 hour, 59 minutes
Level of Education      
  < High School 11.5% 1 hour, 32 minutes 55 minutes
  High School Graduate 19.1% 4 hours, 19 minutes 2 hours, 4 minutes
  Some College 37.4% 3 hours, 8 minutes 1 hour, 23 minutes
  College Degree + 51.7% 4 hours, 58 minutes 1 hour, 51 minutes
  White, non-Hispanic 36.3% 4 hours, 29 minutes 2 hours, 5 minutes
  Hispanic 28.9% 2 hours, 33 minutes 1 hour, 23 minutes
  Non-White, non-Hispanic Too few cases to reliably calculate    
Visualization Notes: 

One in three Arizonans (33.3 percent) volunteered in 2008. This is slightly lower than the estimate in our last report of 38.6 percent. Changes in the study may affect the estimates, but a decline would be in line with national studies that have documented declines in volunteering in the wake of recession. The likelihood of volunteering is tied to educational attainment: people with higher levels of education tend to be more likely to volunteer than people with less education. However, people who have finished high school but did not go (or have not gone) to college spend more time volunteering.

iconMotivation for Charitable Giving (2009)

Motivation for Charitable Giving
Belief that giving can help achieve change or bring about a desired impact 54.0%
Identification with a certain cause 51.2%
Feeling that those who have more should help those with less 49.3%
Helping individuals meet their material needs 44.2%
Religious beliefs 43.5%
Belief that charities can provide public services better than government or private businesses can 33.2%
Tax benefits 18.4%
Being asked by a friend or associate 14.6%
Being asked by your employer 2.9%
Visualization Notes: 

We know from other research what the main reasons are for making a charitable contribution. We put a list of these reasons before our survey respondents, asking whether each motive was a major, minor, or no motivation at all for giving. When we asked this question in 2007, religious beliefs was the most popular ‘major motivator.’ In this study, religious belief slips to fifth place and is replaced at the top by a new item not included in our previous study: the belief that giving can make a difference.

iconCauses to Which We Give (2009)

Organization Type Percent of Households Giving Median Contribution Average Contribution
Causes to Which We Give
Religious Purposes or Spiritual Development 42.1% $500 $1,772
Basic Necessities 35.4% $100 $230
Youth or Family 27.9% $100 $244
Combination of Purposes 27.4% $200 $359
Education 25.9% $100 $263
Health 21.4% $70 $160
Environment 15.7% $50 $82
Neighborhood 12.7% $50 $155
Arts, Culture, and Ethnic Awareness 8.5% $100 $408
International 8.0% $120 $403
Other Purposes 15.2% $124 $236
Visualization Notes: 

In line with the conventional wisdom, giving to religious purposes (mostly weekly contributions to churches) tops the lists. More Arizona households give to religious purpose organizations than any other charitable cause, and both the median and average contributions to churches is substantially higher than any other category.

Data Source

Data were collected in 2009 through a survey of the Arizona Indicators Panel. Survey results were published by ASU Lodestar Center for Philanthropy & Nonprofit Innovation in the Arizona Giving and Volunteering report.

The report can be found at the link below: