Florida Dept. of Agriculture & Consumer Services Newsletter
December 14, 2019
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) partnered with the Florida Nonprofit Alliance (FNA) to conduct a survey exploring charitable giving behavior and knowledge of charity verification in Florida. Our survey included 11 questions about giving practices and nine questions on demographics. It was distributed throughout Florida via key agency partners, including FDACS, FNA, FNA’s partners and the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP).
The survey launched on May 15, 2019, and closed on August 15, 2019. The study had the following objectives:
- To learn more about residents who contribute money and volunteer their time to nonprofit organizations
- To gauge if giving has decreased because of tax reform
- To measure the difference in giving between residents’ home states and Florida
- To measure public interest in nonprofit organizations
- To measure consumers’ familiarity with efforts to prevent charity fraud
- To measure consumer trust in nonprofits
The study found that 98 percent of Florida adults ages 18 and older made charitable donations in the last 12 months. While only 58 percent of those donating to charities said they knew how to verify if a charity is properly registered in Florida, a large majority (85 percent) are researching charities prior to making a donation.
Key Survey Findings
- Ninety-eight percent donated to a charitable cause in the past year.
- More than 60 percent gave less than $1,000 per year.
- Eighty-four percent reported that federal tax reform did not affect their giving.
- Eighty-five percent do some or a lot of research into their chosen charities prior to donating.
- Fifty-eight percent know how to verify if a charity is permitted to fundraise in Florida.
- Sixty percent were not familiar with FDACS’s efforts to prevent charity fraud.
- Fifty-nine percent give to charities in Florida.
- Forty-eight percent gave to national charities.
- Letters and emails were the most frequently preferred methods of solicitation.
FDACS is responsible for registering charities soliciting in Florida and provides information regarding registration, complaints and financials for charitable solicitors. Anyone with a question about the legitimacy of a charity operating in Florida should visit Check-A-Charity at www.FloridaConsumerHelp.com or call 1-800-HELP-FLA (435-7352) or 1-800-FL-AYUDA (352-9832) en Español.