KRC Research

The American Public Response to the Earthquake in Haiti

January 22, 2010

Nearly half of American families are donating money to Haitian relief efforts and a similar proportion are sending their contributions online or via text messaging, according to a poll released today by KRC Research.

As a result of news accounts, conversations with family and friends and personal ties, the American people are paying a great deal of attention to the earthquake in Haiti, and the human tragedy has prompted 45% of American families to donate money for Haitian relief efforts.

In addition to the financial contributions, 31% of Americans report praying for the people of Haiti; nearly one in ten (8%) has donated goods and supplies; and 3% have donated time to organizations involved in relief efforts.

According to the survey, the level of giving was consistent across all age groups. From the youngest to the oldest Americans, people gave in proportions that were statistically consistent with the overall national level.

One difference that varied with age was the way in which contributions were made. While sending money or a check was the most common form of giving (30%), the second largest method of payment was text messaging (24%). Four out of ten contributions (41%) were made through texts, Web sites, social networks and blogs. Not surprisingly, the younger the contributor, the more likely they were to text in their contributions.

“Once again, in the face of an enormous human tragedy, the American people have responded with extraordinary compassion and financial generosity,” said Peter Shafer, CEO of KRC. “This giving spirit is a national characteristic we can be enormously proud of.”

More than four out of five Americans (81%) are following news about the earthquake closely and nine out of ten people are talking about the story. A significant number of Americans, nearly one in five (18%) reported having personal connections --- either through family, friends or business connections – in Haiti.

Network and cable news broadcasts are the two leading news sources about the earthquake and its aftermath, but nearly two-thirds of Americans (64%) said they were also getting their information in conversations with family and friends.

Of those who made a contribution, nearly half (47%) made a contribution through the American Red Cross, the organization most frequently cited by donors. An additional 23% donated through their local churches or synagogues. The median contribution cited by the donors is $35.

The telephone survey of 1,000 adults, age 18 and above, was conducted January 18-20. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percent. A summary of the survey is attached.

Read More:

Questionnaire with Full Results

Summary of Findings

Haiti Full Report and Charts

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