• 12.06.12

Unlike Steve Jobs, Mac Users Are The Most Charitable Of All

When counting up donations by users of different computer and email platforms, some stark trends emerge.

Unlike Steve Jobs, Mac Users Are The Most Charitable Of All

If you’re a Gmail-using, Safari-browsing smartphone addict with a penchant for Macs, you’re probably pretty charitable–more charitable, at least, than your Hotmail-using counterparts who surf the Internet on Internet Explorer from their Windows machine. That’s according to Qgiv, an online donation processing company that analyzed more than 320,000 donations across 165,000 users to come up with giving trends over the past few years. Here are some of the highlights of the research:

  • Out of all the big, free branded email services, Gmail users are the most charitable, giving an average of $143 per donation. In comparison, AOL users give $138, Hotmail users give $128, and Yahoo users give $120.
  • But there is evidence that Gmail lovers are becoming more miserly, however. While the service has the highest donation average, it has experienced the largest year over year drop in average donations. Donations have also dropped overall, with users of all the free email services donating less than they did in 2010–though the numbers have picked up since 2011.
  • People tend to be more charitable at work. People who use a unique domain name–corporate or personal–average $165 per donation, or 13% more than Gmail users.
  • People using mobile browsers donate more on average ($156.59) than those using computers ($144.66). Safari users also donate more than Firefox, Chrome, and Internet Explorer users.
  • Mac users donate significantly more ($181.51) than Windows ($137.30) and Linux users ($116.54). Bill Gates may be a philanthropic legend at this point, but the less openly generous Steve Jobs apparently has more charitable fans.

We can’t say for certain what’s behind these trends. But it probably has something to do with differences in disposable income and willingness to part with it. Travel site Orbitz found, for example, that Mac users are 40% more likely to book a room at a four- or five-star hotel than Windows users, and they’re game to spend up to 30% more each night. At the same time, smartphone users often pay upwards of $100 per month for access to data services, so they too may have a bit of extra spare income. We can’t account for the differences between free email services. But we do know this: In addition to being generous, Gmail users also are good at conserving energy.

About the author

Ariel Schwartz is a Senior Editor at Co.Exist. She has contributed to SF Weekly, Popular Science, Inhabitat, Greenbiz, NBC Bay Area, GOOD Magazine and more.