Charitable Giving, Volunteering Widespread during Holiday Season


Charitable Giving, Volunteering Widespread during Holiday Season

60% Finish 2013 Satisfied, With Fond Memories; 1/3 Make New Year’s Resolutions
3/4’s Put up Tree; Artificial Leads Real 57 to 42%; 30% Believe in Santa

Loudonville, NY – Seventy-six percent of New Yorkers say they will be making donations to charitable organizations that focus on the needy during the holiday season and one third plan to volunteer their time to help those less fortunate according to a new statewide survey of residents released today by the Siena (College) Research Institute. While nearly 40 percent of the state’s residents are glad to see this year come to a close and are ready to hit the restart button, a large majority (60%) approach year’s end saying that they have made progress on many of their goals and will remember 2013 fondly.

“2013 may not have been perfect, but a majority of New Yorkers feel as though they moved in the right direction and plan to file the last twelve months under warm memories,” according to Dr. Don Levy, SRI’s Director. “Looking ahead, thirty-four percent plan to make New Year’s resolutions with getting in shape, being healthier and being a better person topping the list.”

Seventy-three percent of New Yorkers put up a Christmas tree in their home for the holiday season. Of those, well over half, 57 percent, choose an artificial rather than a real tree. Thirty percent of state residents say they believe in Santa Claus. Belief in Santa is greatest among older New Yorkers, Catholics and Republicans, and is stronger among women than it is among men.

“‘Merry Christmas’ is far and away the top well-wishing greeting this season among those that believe in Santa, but, overall, ‘Happy Holidays’ is nearly as popular this year,” according to Levy.

“No matter what your favorite greeting is, or whether or not you set up a tree, we at the Siena College Research Institute wish you and yours a wonderful Holiday Season and a Happy New Year. Our resolution is to continue to serve the people of New York by measuring on, and reporting their opinions, attitudes and behavior and for some of us, drop a couple of pounds along the way,” Levy wishes.

The SRI Happy Holidays Poll was conducted November 17-21, 2013 by random telephone calls to 631 New York adults via landline and cell phones. Data was statistically adjusted by age, and gender to ensure representativeness. SRI reports this data at a 95% confidence level with a margin of error of + 3.9 points. The Siena College Research Institute, under the direction of Donald Levy, Ph.D., conducts political, economic, social and cultural research primarily in New York State. For more information or comments, please call Dr. Don Levy, Director Siena College Research Institute, at 518-783-2901. Survey cross-tabulations and frequencies can be found at

Press Release