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People fundraise because they 'want to do more' for charities

Howard Lake | 5 November 2010 | News

People fundraise for many different reasons, but the three factors that are most important to them are because they want to do more for charity, to raise awareness of the charity or just because they want to raise as much money as possible, according to new research by JustGiving.
Preliminary results from the research show that a quarter of respondents to the 101-question survey said that it was important to raise money in memory of someone, although this was also cited as not important to a similar number of people.
Seventy one per cent of respondents said they had fundraised in the last three years. The overwhelming majority of those who hadn’t fundraised in that period said they hadn’t done so because they preferred to give directly to a cause. A small percentage felt it was too public a thing to do and 20% didn’t think they could fundraise.
There is no ‘silver bullet’ that makes people decide to fundraise for particular organisations. Ninety per cent said it was the cause and mission of the charity, and 78 per cent that they knew the charity would use the money effectively and efficiently. “It’s not rocket science,” said JustGiving’s digital strategist Jonathan Waddingham at the IoF London’s First Thursday meeting. “We always thought this would be why people choose to fundraise, and now we know it’s true.”
But the reasons that are not important to people are also interesting. Twenty per cent said it was not important to have a personal connection with the charity. Waddingham said: “We had always assumed at JustGiving that there would be some personal connection to most people’s fundraising, so this came as a bit of a surprise.”
What was also a surprise was that the biggest reason people had heard of the charity they were fundraising for was because they had given to them before, with 60% saying they had heard about the charity through family or friends. This makes it crucial to get our donor care and thanking procedures right, Waddingham said. “Donor care has to be at the heart of our fundraising,” he said. “It’s important to note how people heard of charities. When it’s through word of mouth it’s immensely important to make sure they have a good experience. Their experience is going to be the recommendation fo rthe next person in the chain.
“We quite often find people raise loads of money online and don’t get thanked properly. These people are so much more valuable than someone giving a one-off gift from a direct mail pack, for example, and we need to make sure we look after them well.”
The survey, developed by JustGiving in conjunction with three universities – Bristol and Warwick in the UK and McMasters in Canada. The survey was sent out to 47,000 people who had used JustGiving (either as donors, fundraisers or some other way), and 1045 people responded. Results are still being analysed and the full results from the survey will be released at a later date.

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