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When push comes to shove, holiday shopping takes priority over charitable giving.
In a recent survey, 59 percent of Americans said they will spend less on holiday gifts this year as a result of the economic situation.That number is down from 71 percent who planned to spend less last year. But while holiday shopping is on the rise, charitable giving is not.
This year, 45 percent of adults say they are more likely to give a charitable gift their year, down from 51 percent last year.
"We have gone through these tough times and it's surprising that instead of being more sympathetic, Americans are spending more on holiday gifts and giving less to charity," said Sarah Renusch, gift catalog director of World Vision, which conducted the research. "If there is a silver lining, it's that more than eight out of 10 people say they'd prefer to receive a meaningful gift that would help someone else instead of a traditional gift like clothing or electronics."
One bright spot for charities looking for a boost in holiday donations: Social media may be a driving force for charitable giving this holiday season. Forty-nine percent of people say that social media has affected their giving this year, while 39 percent of people say that social media has made them more aware of the needs of others.
The research was based on the responses of 1,012 adults. The research was conducted by Harris Interactive for World Vision, a Christian charity organization.