New Research This Giving Tuesday Shows Donating Popular Among Young Adults

However, research reveals increased education on appropriate international donations is needed

WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Just in time for Giving Tuesday and the unofficial kick off to the giving season, the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Center for International Disaster Information (CIDI) is releasing new research which reveals that the number of people donating in the United States is on the rise. More than one-third (36%) gave to aid groups in 2022, a steady increase since 2018 when 32% of people reported making donations. According to the study, this is driven by an increase in young adults (aged 18-24) donating in recent years.

While it is promising that young adults are increasingly donating, the poll shows that not everyone is providing items that may be the most useful for communities in need. When it comes to helping with international disasters and crises, 46% of respondents believe material goods are most effective and 51% believe relief organizations prefer material donations. This is not in line with donation best practices, as material goods—like food, water, and clothing—are expensive to ship, often don’t match what is needed, are sometimes culturally inappropriate, and require sorting and storage which can hinder relief efforts.

On the other hand, monetary donations – like cash, credit card, or online direct donations – are fast and flexible, allowing humanitarian organizations to directly purchase what is needed on the ground, while also helping to stimulate the local economy.

CIDI spreads the “Cash is Best” message through its annual PSAid Contest, where college students nationwide studying advertising, branding and design are challenged to create public service announcements that underscore why “Cash is Best” when donating to international disaster relief efforts. Winners from the 2022 contest can be viewed here, and the 2023 contest will kick off in January.

For more information about the “Cash is Best” message and how to best help surrounding international disasters, please visit


USAID CIDI was created in 1988 by the United States Agency for International Development Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance to inform the public about the advantages of giving monetary donations to relief organizations and warn about the risks of donating unsolicited material goods. Through its “cash is best” messaging, CIDI’s goal is to support donors and relief agencies as they work to provide quick, effective, and efficient relief to people affected by disasters. CIDI provides donations guidance to individuals, groups, embassies, businesses, and corporations.


Jackie Benitez, (239)281-9928

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