The survey by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development showed that 51 per cent of voluntary sector employers were planning a Christmas lunch or party this year, compared with 63 per cent last year.
Private companies were the most likely to stump up for celebrations, with 77 per cent saying they would pay.
Sixty-three voluntary sector bodies were included in the survey, which polled a total of 520 organisations across all sectors.
The survey also showed a marginal increase in the proportion of charities offering rewards such as Christmas hampers and vouchers, from 1 per cent to 1.5 per cent.
John Burnell, director of consultancy Personnel Solutions, said dropping the Christmas party was a false economy.
"You could get a lot of resentment and upset that will be out of proportion to the savings you might make," he said.