Giving and Volunteering [United States] (ICPSR 35584)

Principal Investigator(s): Independent Sector

Summary:

Giving and Volunteering in the United States is a series of biennial national surveys that report trends in giving and charitable behavior. The surveys act as barometers of how socioeconomic conditions and tax laws affect the charitable behavior of Americans. They also chart public attitudes about a variety of issues that affect the climate for giving and volunteering, and explore behavioral and motivational factors that influence giving and volunteering. The series began in 1988, and the latest survey of the series was in 2001.

The Gallup Organization conducted in-home personal interviews with American adults aged 18 and older for Independent Sector for 1988, 1990, 1992, 1994, 1996, and 1999 surveys. For the 1988 survey, 2,775 American adults were interviewed from March 8 through March 22, 1988. The 1990 Giving and Volunteering survey resulted in 2,727 interviews from March 23 to May 20, 1990. Then for the 1992 survey, 2,671 American adults were interviewed from April 3 through May 17, 1992. From April 22 to May 15, 1994, 1,509 adult Americans were interviewed for the 1994 survey. The 1996 Giving and Volunteering survey resulted in 2,719 interviews from May 4 through June 16, 1996. For the 1999 survey, 2,553 adults were interviewed from May 1999 through July 1999. The Giving and Volunteering in the United States 2001 survey was a random digit dial (RDD) telephone survey conducted by Westat for Independent Sector from May 14, 2001, to July 22, 2001, with a representative national sample of 4,216 adults 21 years of age or older. The purpose of the interviews was to provide accurate trend data about the patterns of and the motivations for giving and volunteering in the United States. Data topics include trend data on charitable behavior, total giving of respondents' households, behavioral and motivational factors that influence giving and volunteering, economic conditions and tax laws affecting giving and volunteering, and public attitudes about a variety of issues as they may relate to the climate of giving and volunteering in the United States.

Access Notes

  • The public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.

Dataset(s)

DS0:  Study-Level Files
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DS1:  Giving and Volunteering in the United States 1988 - Download All Files (52.627 MB)
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DS2:  Giving and Volunteering in the United States 1990 - Download All Files (55.622 MB)
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DS3:  Giving and Volunteering in the United States 1992 - Download All Files (54.109 MB)
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DS4:  Giving and Volunteering in the United States 1994 - Download All Files (32.924 MB)
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DS5:  Giving and Volunteering in the United States 1996 - Download All Files (45.367 MB)
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DS6:  Giving and Volunteering in the United States 1999 - Download All Files (29.606 MB)
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DS7:  Giving and Volunteering in the United States 2001 - Download All Files (101.163 MB)
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Study Description

Citation

Independent Sector. Giving and Volunteering [United States]. ICPSR35584-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2016-01-28. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR35584.v1

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR35584.v1

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Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    attitudes, charitable donations, charities, tax deductions, taxes, volunteers

Smallest Geographic Unit:    state

Geographic Coverage:    United States

Time Period:   

  • 1987-01-01--1987-12-31
  • 1989-01-01--1989-12-31
  • 1991-01-01--1992-05-17
  • 1993-01-01--1994-05-15
  • 1995-01-01--1996-06-16
  • 1998-01-01--1999-06-30
  • 2001-01-01--2001-07-22

Date of Collection:   

  • 1988-03-08--1988-03-22
  • 1990-03-23--1990-05-20
  • 1992-04-03--1992-05-17
  • 1994-04-22--1994-05-15
  • 1996-05-04--1996-06-16
  • 1999-05--1999-07
  • 2001-05-14--2001-07-22

Unit of Observation:    individual

Universe:    Adult Americans

Data Type(s):    survey data

Data Collection Notes:

This data collection was previously distributed by the Cultural Policy and the Arts National Data Archive (CPANDA). The CPANDA Identification Number (study number) for the entire data collection is c00021. The CPANDA Identification number for Giving and Volunteering in the United States 1988 is a00239, for Giving and Volunteering in the United States 1990 is a00240, for Giving and Volunteering in the United States 1992 is a00241, for Giving and Volunteering in the United States 1994 is a00242, for Giving and Volunteering in the United States 1996 is a00243, for Giving and Volunteering in the United States 1999 is a00244, and for Giving and Volunteering in the United States 2001 is a00245. CPANDA conducted the following processing steps for release of this collection: produced a codebook, checked for undocumented codes, performed consistency checks, provided frequencies, performed recodes, and reformatted the data.

For this data collection, respondents were asked questions about personal volunteering and about household contributions. That is, a respondent's answers to volunteering questions refer only to the respondent and not other household members. Alternatively, the respondent's answers to giving questions refer to the household, not to him or her as an individual.

The following notes were provided by CPANDA upon their distribution of this data collection:

  • Giving and Volunteering 1988, 1990, 1992, 1994, 1996, and 1999:

    The Gallup Organization was contracted to complete the data entry of all the completed surveys and conduct error checking and double entry to limit coding error. Gallup does a 100 percent recode of all demographic variables to ensure the weights that are based on these variables are as accurate as possible. Also, they typically conduct a 50 percent recode of crucial core variables relating to giving and volunteering behavior. For purposes of response checking, The Gallup Organization records the respondent's name, address and phone number on the questionnaire. Therefore, if a problem arises during data entry the respondent can be called and asked to verify the item in question. However, the original questionnaires are destroyed by The Gallup Organization after they've been coded.

    Because of a special arrangement with Gallup, Independent Sector received the survey instruments which were then used to perform more comprehensive validity checks. Using the survey instruments and previous year analyses, inconsistencies and errors were found by Independent Sector staff and corrected in the final data set.

  • Additional note for Giving and Volunteering 1999

    A section on voting and its relationship to giving and volunteering, which was presented in the 1996 edition of Giving and Volunteering in the United States, is missing from this edition. A skip pattern was incorrectly administered by Gallup, resulting in very large quantities of missing data for these questions.

  • Giving and Volunteering 2001:

    Independent Sector analyzed and cleaned the data; thus, minor differences in data reporting may occur. Some observations were deleted for data quality reasons, resulting in an analysis database of 4,178 records.

To protect the anonymity of respondents, all variables that could be used to identify individuals have been masked or recoded. For details regarding these changes, please refer to the Codebook Notes provided in the ICPSR Codebook in this data collection.

Due to the limit in the number of allowable columns of 256 in Excel 97-2003 (file ending, xls), the Excel files being distributed with this collection are in the later version of Excel (file ending of xlsx).

Methodology

Study Design:   

  • 1988

    Interviewing for this survey was conducted in areas selected for inclusion in the personal interviewing sample used for The Gallup Organization's regular national surveys of adults. Beginning March 8, and ending March 22, 1988, The Gallup Organization conducted in-home personal interviews with 2,775 American adults, 18 years of age and older for Independent Sector. This study included over-samples of Blacks, Hispanics and affluent Americans with household incomes of $50,000 or more. Without the over-sampling, one could not carry out a statistically reliable analysis of these groups. The sampling procedure, however, did not specifically target the very wealthy (those with incomes above $200,000) because they constitute such a small percentage of the population.

  • 1990

    Interviewing for this survey was conducted in areas selected for inclusion in the personal interviewing sample used for The Gallup Organization's regular national surveys of adults. Beginning March 23, and ending May 20, 1990, The Gallup Organization conducted in-home personal interviews with 2,727 American adults, 18 years of age and older for Independent Sector. This study included over-samples of Blacks, Hispanics and affluent Americans with household incomes of $60,000 or more. Without the over-sampling, one could not carry out a statistically reliable analysis of these groups. The sampling procedure, however, did not specifically target the very wealthy (those with incomes above $200,000) because they constitute such a small percentage of the population.

  • 1992

    Interviewing for this survey was conducted in areas selected for inclusion in the personal interviewing sample used for The Gallup Organization's regular national surveys of adults. Beginning April 3, and ending May 17, 1992, The Gallup Organization conducted in-home personal interviews with 2,671 American adults, 18 years of age and older for Independent Sector. The sampling procedure used in the general purpose sample is designed to produce an approximation of the non-institutionalized, adult civilian population, eighteen years and older, living in the United States.

  • 1994

    Interviewing for this survey was conducted from in areas selected for inclusion in the personal interviewing sample used for The Gallup Organization's regular national surveys of adults. From April 22 to May 15, 1994, The Gallup Organization conducted in-home personal interviews with 1,509 adult Americans, 18 years of age and older for the Independent Sector. The sampling procedure used is designed to produce an approximation of the adult civilian population, eighteen years and older, living in the United States, excluding people residing in institutions, such as prisons or hospitals. This survey did not include over-samples of Blacks, Hispanics and affluent Americans with household incomes of $60,000 or more.

  • 1996

    Interviewing for this survey was conducted in areas selected for inclusion in the personal interviewing sample used for the Gallup Organization's regular national surveys of adults. Beginning May 4 and ending June 16, 1996, The Gallup Organization conducted in-home personal interviews with 2,719 adults, 18 years of age and older for the Independent Sector. The interviews were further supplemented with special purpose samples designed to be more efficient at reaching special populations such as "Blacks", "Hispanics" and the "affluent". The sampling procedure used in the general purpose sample is designed to produce an approximation of the non-institutionalized, adult civilian population, eighteen years and older, living in the United States.

    For the general purpose sample, the design uses a single-call attempt at a given household. If nobody answers the door, interviewers record a "no-contact" on their contact sheet and move to the next household. The call design for the oversamples was dictated by both the time schedule and the cost of field work. In general, a single call was made with the possibility of two additional attempts in the event there was an eligible respondent who could not complete the interview.

  • 1999

    Interviewing for this survey was conducted in areas selected for inclusion in the personal interviewing sample used for the Gallup Organization's regular national surveys of adults but supplemented with special purpose samples designed to be more efficient at reaching targeted populations such as "Blacks," "Hispanics," and the "affluent." During May, June, and July 1999, The Gallup Organization conducted in-home personal interviews with 2,553 adults, 18 years of age and older for Independent Sector. The sampling procedure used in the general purpose sample is designed to produce an approximation of the non-institutionalized adult civilian population, 18 years and older, living in the United States. This excludes people residing in institutions, on military bases, and the homeless.

    The design uses a single call attempt at a given household. If nobody answers the door, interviewers record a "no-contact" on their contact sheet and move to the next household. In general for the special purpose samples, a single call was made with the possibility of two additional attempts in the event the interviewers were able to find an eligible respondent who could not complete the interview on the first contact.

  • 2001

    The Giving and Volunteering in the United States 2001 survey was a random digit dial (RDD) telephone survey conducted by Westat for Independent Sector from May 14, 2001 to July 22, 2001, resulting in a representative national sample of 4,216 adults 21 years of age or older. The interviews asked about individual volunteering habits in the 12 months prior to the survey and about household giving during the year 2000. Weighting procedures ensured that the final sample was representative of the adult population in the United States in terms of age, education, marital status, size of household, region of the country, and household income.

    The data collection and sampling methodology for this survey represent a significant change from those used in prior Giving and Volunteering surveys. The 2001 survey used a telephone survey methodology, while previous surveys were in-home interviews. Additionally, this survey was of adults 21 and older, while prior surveys included people 18 and over. Due to the changes comparisons to prior Giving and Volunteering studies cannot easily be made.

Sample:   

  • 1988

    Sampling Procedure: Interviews were conducted in areas selected for inclusion in the personal interviewing sample used for The Gallup Organization's regular national surveys of adults. The interviews were further supplemented with special purpose samples designed to be more efficient at reaching special populations such as "Blacks", "Hispanics" and the "affluent". The sampling procedure used in the general purpose sample is designed to produce an approximation of the non-institutionalized, adult civilian population, eighteen years and older, living in the United States. This excludes people residing in institutions, such as prisons and hospitals, on military bases and the homeless. The design of the sample, including over three hundred interviewing locations, is that of a replicated multi-stage area probability sample down to the block level in urban areas, and to segments of townships in rural areas. The sample design incorporates stratification by seven size-of-community strata, using 1980 Census data: (a) incorporated cities of population 1,000,000 and over; (b) incorporated cities of population 250,000 to 999,999; (c) incorporated cities of population 50,000 to 249,999; (d) urbanized places not included in (a)-(c); (e) cities over 2,500 population outside of urbanized areas; (f) towns and villages with less than 2,500 population; and (g) rural places not included within town boundaries. Each of these are further stratified into four geographic regions: East, Midwest, South and West. Within each city size-regional stratum, the population is arrayed in geographic order and zoned into equal sized groups of sampling units. Pairs of localities are selected in each zone, with probability of selection in each locality proportional to its population in the 1980 Census, producing two replicated samples of localities. Separately for each survey, within each subdivision so selected for which block statistics are available, a sample of blocks or block clusters is drawn with probability of selection proportional to the number of dwelling units. In all other subdivisions or areas, blocks or segments are drawn at random or with equal probability. In each cluster of blocks and each segment so selected, a randomly selected starting point is designated on the interviewer's map of the area. Starting at this point, interviewers are required to follow a given direction in the selection of households until their assignment is completed. The adult sample is designed to be self-weighting for the purpose of sampling the civilian, non-institutionalized population when equal numbers of interviews are conducted in each sampled locality. For the purpose of providing a 2,000 case adult general population sample, interviewers in each sampled location were given equal assignments of interviews to be completed with adults.

    Major Deviations from the Sample Design: The sampling procedure did not specifically target the very wealthy (those with incomes above $200,000) because they constitute such a small percentage of the population.

    Estimates of Sampling Error: A source of error may be due to the fact that an individual must report the giving behavior of other family or household members. While an individual may be able to accurately recall his/her total charitable contributions over the span of 12 months, it is difficult for that individual to do the same for the entire household. This is particularly true when the respondent is not the head of the household. Therefore, it may be inappropriate to view the amount given to charitable groups as a precise assessment of overall giving. These figures may be more valuable when viewed in comparison to previous surveys. While the error rate is relatively small for the whole sample, the error could be much larger for small portions of the sample, and particularly, when only a small percentage of respondents report giving and/or volunteering to a certain area. In a random selection of the population, findings from year to year can show wide variations depending upon who is included in the sample. One should also note that this survey may have been conducted during a period of time in which there were many changes in the tax laws and in the economy. During such a period, behavior changes rapidly and trends or patterns may not be easily identified. Finally, gifts from the very wealthy are unlikely to be recorded in these surveys. As a result, gifts to certain types of institutions, which realize a high proportion of their giving in the form of large gifts, are not likely to be included.

  • 1990

    Sampling Procedure: Interviewing for this survey was conducted in areas selected for inclusion in the personal interviewing sample used for The Gallup Organization's regular national surveys of adults. The design of the sample, including over three hundred interviewing locations, is that of a replicated multi-stage area probability sample down to the block level in urban areas, and to segments of townships in rural areas. The sample design incorporates stratification by seven size-of-community strata, using 1980 Census data.

    Major Deviations from the Sample Design: This study included over-samples of Blacks, Hispanics and affluent Americans with household incomes of $60,000 or more. Without the over-sampling, one could not carry out a statistically reliable analysis of these groups. The sampling procedure, however, did not specifically target the very wealthy (those with incomes above $200,000) because they constitute such a small percentage of the population.

    Estimates of Sampling Error: The sampling error for this survey is +/-3 percent and accounts for only one of many possible types of error that may occur when conducting human subject research. In this survey, faulty memory could have been a source of error since respondents were asked to recall whether they volunteered over the past 12 months. Another source of error may be due to the fact that an individual must report the giving behavior of other family or household members. While the error rate is relatively small for the whole sample, the error could be much larger for small portions of the sample, and particularly, when only a small percentage of respondents report giving and/or volunteering to a certain area.

  • 1992

    Sampling Procedure: Interviewing for this survey was conducted in areas selected for inclusion in the personal interviewing sample used for The Gallup Organization's regular national surveys of adults. The sampling procedure used in the general purpose sample is designed to produce an approximation of the non-institutionalized, adult civilian population, eighteen years and older, living in the United States. The design of the sample, including over three hundred interviewing locations, is that of a replicated multi-stage area probability sample down to the block level in urban areas, and to segments of townships in rural areas. The sample design incorporates stratification by seven size-of-community strata, using 1980 Census data.

    Major Deviations from the Sample Design: This study included over-samples of Blacks, Hispanics and affluent Americans with household incomes of $60,000 or more. Without the over-sampling, one could not carry out a statistically reliable analysis of these groups. The sampling procedure, however, did not specifically target the very wealthy (those with incomes above $200,000) because they constitute such a small percentage of the population.

    Estimates of Sampling Error: The sampling error for this survey is +/-3 percent.

  • 1994

    Sampling Procedure: Interviewing for this survey was conducted in areas selected for inclusion in the personal interviewing sample used for The Gallup Organization's regular national surveys of adults. The sampling procedure used is designed to produce an approximation of the adult civilian population, eighteen years and older, living in the United States, excluding people residing in institutions, such as prisons or hospitals. The design of the sample, including over 300 interviewing locations, is that of a replicated multi-stage area probability sample down to the block level in urban areas and to segments of townships in rural areas. The sample design includes stratification by seven size-of-community strata, according to 1980 Census data.

    Estimates of Sampling Error: The error rate for the total sample is +/- 3 percent.

  • 1996

    Sampling Procedure: Interviewing for this survey was conducted in areas selected for inclusion in the personal interviewing sample used for the Gallup Organization's regular national surveys of adults. The sample uses approximately 300 interviewing locations previously chosen using a replicated multi-stage area probability design down to the block level. The adult sample design incorporates stratification by seven size-of-community strata, according to 1980 Census data. The sampling procedure used in the general purpose sample is designed to produce an approximation of the non-institutionalized, adult civilian population, eighteen years and older, living in the United States.

    Major Deviations from the Sample Design:This study included over-samples of Blacks, Hispanics and affluent Americans with household incomes of $60,000 or more. Without the over-sampling, one could not carry out a statistically reliable analysis of these groups. The sampling procedure, however, did not specifically target the very wealthy (those with incomes above $200,000) because they constitute such a small percentage of the population.

    Estimates of Sampling Error: Recommended allowances for sampling errors may be found in the Technical Documentation for this survey year.

  • 1999:

    Sampling Procedure: Interviewing for this survey was conducted in areas selected for inclusion in the personal interviewing sample used for the Gallup Organization's regular national surveys of adults. The sample uses approximately 150 interviewing locations chosen using a replicated multi-stage area probability design down to the block group level. The adult sample design incorporates stratification by seven size-of-community strata, using post-Census data from 1993.

    Major Deviations from the Sample Design: The Gallup Organization's regular national surveys of adults was supplemented with special purpose samples designed to be more efficient at reaching targeted populations such as "Blacks," "Hispanics," and the "affluent."

  • 2001

    Sampling Procedure: The Giving and Volunteering in the United States 2001 survey was a random digit dial (RDD) telephone survey. The data collection effort resulted in a representative national sample of 4,216 non-institutionalized adult Americans 21 years of age or older.

    Major Deviations from the Sample Design: This survey included an oversampling of Hispanics, Blacks, and affluent Americans with household incomes of $100,000 or higher in order to increase the sample sizes of these groups for statistical analysis purposes. Subsampling of males was also implemented in order to increase their probability of selection to boost the ratio of males versus females in the final sample.

    Estimates of Sampling Error: The error rate for the total sample is +/-2 percent.

Time Method:    Longitudinal: Trend / Repeated Cross-section

Weight:   

  • 1988

    Weighting procedures were used to ensure that the final sample was representative of the adult, non-institutionalized population in the United States in terms of age, education, marital status, occupation, size of household, region of country, and household income. This dataset contains the variable WEIGHT (Sampling weight).

  • 1990

    Weighting of the sample (combining the adult sample with the three oversamples) was accomplished in four stages. Weighting procedures were used to ensure that the final sample was representative of the adult, non-institutionalized population in the United States in terms of geographic region of residence, gender, age, education and household income. This dataset contains the variable WEIGHT (Sampling weight).

  • 1992

    Weighting of the sample was accomplished in four stages. This dataset contains the variable WEIGHT (Sampling weight).

  • 1994

    A 3-step procedure was used to weight the sample. "The first step employed a "times-at-home" weighting procedure for each respondent based on the estimated probability that the respondent would be found at home at the time when the interview was completed. The second weighting step" used "a demographically based sample balancing program." The third weighting step was "an iterative ratio estimation procedure that takes both marginal distributions and inter-relationships among demographic variables into account." This dataset contains the variable WEIGHT (Sampling weight).

  • 1996

    Weighting of the sample (combining the adult sample with the three oversamples) was accomplished in four stages. There are two separate weighting variables included in this study. One (WGT4) is to be used when making comparisons to the previous Giving and Volunteering surveys, and the second (WGT) represents a different weighting procedure which the Giving and Volunteer Committee recommended to The Gallup Organization. This second weighting procedure differs from the first procedure in that the third stage used the population distribution of household income, instead of the household distribution.

  • 1999

    Weighting of the sample (combining the general adult sample with the three oversamples) was accomplished in four stages. This dataset contains the following weights: HHWGTTAH (Household weight with times-at-home), HHWGT (Household weight without times-at-home), INDWTTAH (Individual weight with times-at-home), and INDWGT (Individual weight without times-at-home).

  • 2001

    There are two kinds of weights in two versions. Weights are either giving weights or volunteering weights. There are two giving weights. One, GIVEWGT, produces household numbers -- the numbers will reflect the number of households in the US. The other, UNITGWGT, is a unit weight that adjusts the sample proportions but does not change numbers such as proportions or means. There are also two volunteering weights. One, VOLWGT, weights to the non-institutionalized United States adult population while the other, UNITVWGT, adjusts the proportions without inflating the numbers.

Mode of Data Collection:    face-to-face interview

Extent of Processing:   ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Created online analysis version with question text.

Restrictions: Users of the data must agree to the Terms of Use presented on the NADAC Web site and available through the link in each codebook.

Version(s)

Original ICPSR Release:   2016-01-28

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