Your Non-Donating Neighbors Think You Need to Give More to Good Causes

A new study finds that people who don’t donate money to causes realize the heightened need and have found a solution: you need to give more, especially if you’re 'rich.'

The study, from Grey Matter Research, is a companion piece to a study released by Grey in Feb 2012 that found that charity donors say they’d keep giving even if Congress took away tax deductibility, they just weren’t sure you would.

In this study, instead of asking why they weren’t active charitable donors, Grey Matter asked people who hadn’t made any donations to nonprofits in prior 12 months about their perceptions of nonprofits and giving.

What they found is that 83 percent of American who don’t give would give if they had it. 

But the shocker was this: people who earned $100,000 or more were just as likely as those earning $20,000 or less to wish they had enough to donate.

More from Grey Matter’s study here.

Some of this miserliness could be the fault of fundraisers who emphasize larger donation amounts when prospecting. After all, it’s just as much work to ask for $100 as it is to ask for $10,000.

But part this rebounds onto the culture itself that has forgotten (or never learned) the parable of the widow’s mite. Part of the price of American civilization is to donate to worthy causes, even when you can’t afford much. If 10 million American families who hadn’t previously donated gave just $50 a year that would mean an extra half-billion dollars in charitable donations to worthy causes.

That 'widow's mite' would become the widow's might.