Almost 70% of Americans will give less to charitable causes in the coming months, according to new survey data conducted by Campbell Rinker on behalf of Dunham+Company.  The survey found that 68% of respondents plan to give less due to economic uncertainties and another one in ten would stop making charitable donations altogether.

“The findings of our study are not surprising, but they are a real concern because charities have just started recovering from the worst decline in giving in U.S. history,” said Rick Dunham, President and CEO of Dunham+Company and member of The Giving Institute, publisher of Giving USA, the annual report on giving in America.  “According to Giving USA 2011, U.S. charitable giving dropped $30 billion annually from 2007 to 2009. Giving recovered slightly in 2010 and has continued to make a comeback in 2011.  But now it looks like charities are in for some more rough waters with the economy in such disarray.”

In terms of giving to new charitable causes, the survey found that 78% of respondents would continue to give to a cause to which they are already giving, just at a lower level.  The study also shows that the more people feel as if the economy is in decline, the more they are unwilling to support another charity. Older donors are extremely skittish about the economy and less willing to take on a new cause. Nearly 9 in 10 people older than 60 are less willing to support a new cause (86 percent) compared to just 64 percent of donors younger than 40.

As governments at all levels continue to scale back on providing services to constituents, associations and nonprofit organizations increasingly take on larger quasi-governmental roles.  Association foundations may provide scholarships to underprivileged students in an area of study, fund research projects to improve a particular aspect of society, or conduct their own advanced trainings to strengthen professions and industries.  Drop offs in donations prevent association foundations and other nonprofits from filling these important roles.