71% of Americans Say Debt Keeps Them from Donating More to Charity

CHARLOTTE, N.C.Oct. 16, 2019  — While nearly two-thirds of Americans have donated to charity over the last year, 71% say that debt keeps them from giving more, according to a new LendingTree survey. It’s a sentiment that makes sense given that the average debt-carrying household in 2018 owed roughly $144,100.

Key Findings

  • 71% of Americans reported that their debt keeps them from donating as much as they’d like to charity.
  • 56% of respondents said they don’t make enough money to donate.
  • About two-thirds of respondents made a charitable donation within the last year, and 34% did so more than once.
  • 56% percent said they make recurring donations, meaning they donate to the same charity or organization once a month or more often.
  • The top 3 most popular causes among donors are: animals (34%), health (31%), and human services (26%). Younger generations were more likely to donate to animal- and environmental-related causes, while older Americans donated to more religious causes.
  • One-third of Americans have contributed to a crowdfunding campaign within the last year, and 27% have donated to a cause through a social media friend’s Facebook birthday fundraiser.
  • If given additional funds to donate, 22% of respondents said they’d want to contribute to an animal-related cause.
  • When asked why they make charitable donations, most (67%) expressed a simple motivation: They want to help others in need. One in 10 cited tax deductions as a reason.

For the full detailed list and methodology, please visithttps://www.lendingtree.com/debt-consolidation/study-debt-donating-charity/


LendingTree commissioned Qualtrics to conduct an online survey of 1,079 Americans, with the sample base proportioned to represent the general population. The survey was fielded September 11-13, 2019.

For the purposes of this survey, we defined generations as follows:

  • Generation Zers are ages 18-22
  • Millennials are ages 23-38
  • Generation Xers are ages 29-53
  • Baby boomers are ages 54-73

Members of the Silent Generation (ages 74 and older) were also surveyed, and their responses are included within the total percentages among all respondents. However, their responses are excluded from the charts and age breakdowns due to the smaller population size among our survey sample.

About LendingTree

LendingTree (NASDAQ: TREE) is the nation’s leading online marketplace that connects consumers with the choices they need to be confident in their financial decisions. LendingTree empowers consumers to shop for financial services the same way they would shop for airline tickets or hotel stays, comparing multiple offers from a nationwide network of over 500 partners in one simple search, and can choose the option that best fits their financial needs. Services include mortgage loans, mortgage refinances, auto loans, personal loans, business loans, student loans, insurance, credit cards and more. Through the My LendingTree platform, consumers receive free credit scores, credit monitoring and recommendations to improve credit health. My LendingTree proactively compares consumers’ credit accounts against offers on our network, and notifies consumers when there is an opportunity to save money. In short, LendingTree’s purpose is to help simplify financial decisions for life’s meaningful moments through choice, education and support. LendingTree, LLC is a subsidiary of LendingTree, Inc. For more information, go to www.lendingtree.com, dial 800-555-TREE, like our Facebook page and/or follow us on Twitter @LendingTree.