JACKSONVILLE, Fla.—Floridians are generous in a wide variety of ways, a comprehensive new study of philanthropy in Florida finds. Almost 70% of households in Florida (69.0%) report making charitable donations in 2021, with over half of those donors giving the majority of their donated funds to organizations based in Florida.
Giving in Florida provides an in-depth examination of the charitable giving patterns, priorities, and attitudes of Florida households and provides insight into giving patterns in 2021. The study is a collaboration among Florida Nonprofit Alliance, the Jessie Ball duPont Fund and the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI.
“Floridians are generous and that generosity is widespread, with people of a variety of ages and demographic backgrounds making contributions. And, more importantly, they are invested in giving to Florida-based nonprofits. Giving in Florida provides a comprehensive, inclusive baseline for understanding Floridians’ generosity. As nonprofits are starting to recover from the financial impact of COVID-19, this study offers a tremendous amount of information about our state’s donors that can make help make our state and local nonprofit sector even stronger,” said Sabeen Perwaiz, president and CEO of Florida Nonprofit Alliance.
Florida Nonprofit Alliance and the Jessie Ball duPont Fund initiated the project, which was researched, analyzed and written by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. The survey was fielded by the Public Opinion Research Lab at the University of North Florida.
The goal of the project was to develop a benchmark of Florida’s philanthropic climate, learn about factors that affect individual giving in the state and help educate donors, nonprofit leaders and board members about how best to reach their constituents.
In addition to examining more structured forms of philanthropy, the study finds that nearly nine out of 10 Florida households (87.0%) report making informal donations, such as giving to crowdfunding campaigns, donating goods to a food bank, or helping friends or family in need. Over half of all respondents reported giving directly to people in need within Florida.
“The Giving in Florida study captures generosity from people from all backgrounds who give to formal nonprofits but also give money directly to others, donate goods, or volunteer. These individuals tend to be younger, more diverse, less religious and have significantly lower incomes than formal donors. This type of generosity has been practiced for centuries, but it has traditionally not been researched. Having this data allows us to gain a better and more complete understanding of Florida’s philanthropic landscape,” said Una Osili, Ph.D., associate dean for research and international programs at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.
As part of the national movement for social justice, giving to racial justice causes grew rapidly across the country in 2020. Giving in Florida finds that more than a quarter of Floridians reported giving to racial justice causes in 2021. Direct support for individuals was the most popular form of racial justice giving, with 12.8% of respondents giving in this way, followed by giving to established organizations (11.5%) and giving to grassroots organizations (11.4%).
The survey also provides in-depth analysis of giving differences by different types of households. Nine out of 10 high-net-worth households gave to charity, and they did so in significantly larger amounts than general population households. However, high-net-worth households also were significantly more likely to donate a larger share of their giving to U.S. organizations not based in Florida, as compared with general households.
Donors ages 65 and older were more likely to give to registered 501(c)(3) charities and more likely to give a larger share of their charitable dollars to Florida-based organizations, as compared to respondents ages 40 and younger. On the other hand, respondents ages 40 and under were more likely to volunteer than those ages 65 and older.
“This study challenges some of the long-standing assumptions about giving in Florida—for example, this data shows that Floridians of all ages are deeply invested in their communities. Nearly three-quarters of Floridians over 65 gave to charities, and of those, 90 percent reported giving to organizations based in Florida. In addition, Floridians under age 40 are more likely to volunteer and more likely to be informal givers compared to formal donors. This research provides a more nuanced view of Floridians’ generosity, and will support our nonprofits in empowering the next generation of givers in our state,” said Mari Kuraishi, president of the Jessie Ball duPont Fund.
Finally, there were some regional differences in giving patterns. Southeast Florida, the region that includes Miami and Fort Lauderdale, among other cities, represents the largest share of total charitable giving. However, the share of charitable dollars going to local charities was distributed more evenly around the state, with Southeast, Northeast, and Central Florida representing similar shares of total giving to local charities.
• Sixty-nine percent of Florida households report giving to charity in 2021.
• Floridian households in the typical population donated an average of $1,035 in 2021; high net worth households donated an average of $15,294.
• The top reason cited for giving to charity was feeling compassion toward people in need, followed by donating because friends gave to charity. The top reason for stopping giving to an organization that the donor had previously given to was organizations mismanaging donations, followed by donors changing their giving to charities working on different issues.
• The top three areas that received the largest average donation amount in 2021 were religion, basic needs, and health.
• The top three issue priorities were: poverty and income inequality; health; and climate change and the environment.
• Giving to environment/animals was one of the top three most common charitable causes that Floridians gave to in 2021. By comparison, giving to the environment was the sixth most common charitable cause to give to according to the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy’s Philanthropy Panel Study, the nation’s first and most comprehensive longitudinal study of U.S. households’ philanthropic behaviors and attitudes.
• People who lived all 12 months of the year in Florida were more likely to give a larger share of their charitable giving to Florida-based organizations than were people who did not spend all 12 months of the year in the state.
• Donors under age 40 were significantly more likely than older donors to give through online mechanisms such as an app, a nonprofit’s website, or a crowdfunding campaign organized by a nonprofit.
• Over three quarters of respondents 65 and older had a will, but of those, only 15.5% had a charitable bequest, suggesting an area in which Floridian nonprofits may be able to increase giving. Bequest giving is not limited to older individuals: the donors most likely to stipulate a charitable bequest to a Florida-based organization were younger and more diverse than the average respondent with a will.
* Results are for the general population households unless otherwise noted.
Expert Panelists to Discuss Giving in Florida during Live Webcast on April 1
The Florida Nonprofit Alliance will host a live webcast for nonprofits on Friday, April 1, from 12:00-1:00 p.m. Eastern, during which expert panelists will discuss the new Giving in Florida report. During the free webcast, attendees can ask their most pressing questions about giving in
Florida and how to incorporate this new information into their donor engagement and fundraising plans. Learn more and register here.
Data for this study were gathered by surveying 1,444 households in January 2022, with an oversample of households considered to be high net worth (defined as households with an annual income of at least $200,000 and/or net assets of $1 million, excluding their primary residence).
To ensure that the results presented are reflective of the adult population of Florida, and to adjust for nonresponse bias, the total sample was weighted by age, sex, race, education, geographic location and annual household income. Weights were calculated using the 2019 American Community Survey update for the adult population of the State of Florida. Learn more about the survey methodology on page X of Giving in Florida.
About Florida Nonprofit Alliance
The Florida Nonprofit Alliance (FNA) is a statewide coalition of nonprofits focused on research, collaboration and advocacy. FNA’s mission is to serve as the state’s collective voice, respected advocate, effective connector, and powerful mobilizer for the nonprofit sector. We provide a collective voice at the state and national levels, educating elected officials and constituents, and serve as a central resource and referral center for and about Florida nonprofits. FNA also represents Florida as the state association member of the National Council of Nonprofits. Visit www.flnonprofits.org.
About the Jessie Ball duPont Fund
The Jessie Ball duPont Fund is a private foundation that works to expand access to opportunity and create inclusive growth for the people, organizations and communities that Jessie Ball duPont knew and loved. We envision a world in which every member of those communities feels they belong, and is engaged in shaping the future of their community. We use our grantmaking, investments, research and partnerships to increase equitable access to opportunities and resources for members of society who have historically been excluded, and placemaking to build stronger communities where all voices are heard and valued. Learn more at www.dupontfund.org.
About the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy
The Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI is dedicated to improving philanthropy to improve the world by training and empowering students and professionals to be innovators and leaders who create positive and lasting change. The school offers a comprehensive approach to philanthropy through its undergraduate, graduate, certificate and professional development programs, its research and international programs and through The Fund Raising School, Lake Institute on Faith & Giving, the Mays Family Institute on Diverse Philanthropy and the Women’s Philanthropy Institute.