Blackbaud Europe survey finds 22% of donors increased giving this year

Research by Blackbaud Europe reveals that 22.4% of donors surveyed said that they had increased their charitable giving in the past year, with 60% donating the same amount as they had last year.

The research, published in the report Donor Perspectives: An investigation into what drives your donors to give, features data from 1,436 UK respondents, contacted during August 2012 and asked about their giving in the 12 months before then. Blackbaud conducted the research to get a better sense of donors' attitudes to not-for-profit organisations and donating to them.

The average amount donated to charity over the past year by the respondents was £251.38. This average total donation per person had risen compared to the previous year, as had the number of regular donations make.

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Methods of giving

Cash remained the most popular method of giving, with 40% of responders choosing that as they favourite. For those aged over 55, the preferred method was direct debit. That is the most popular method amongs charities too, with 47% of UK charities preferring regular gifts, according to last month's Blackbaud 2012 State of the Nonprofit Industry (SONI) report.

A quarter of respondents had given to charity via SMS, although the method was the favourite of only 1.5%.

Donor motivations

The most common reason (16.2%) given by donors for increasing donations was "a desire to be more charitable", followed by "wanting to support a specific cause or mission" (13.4%).

More opportunities to increase giving

Although nine in ten people had made a one-off donation to a charity, four in ten respondents did not make a regular donation to any charity.

Respondents donated more when they made regular donations to one or more organisations than those who made one-off donations. Donors who made ongoing contributions to at least one organisation in the past 12 months, donated on average one-third more than those who made one-off donations.

When respondents were asked what would motivate them to become regular donors to an organisation to which they currently made one-off donations, the top three responses were:

Martin Campbell, Blackbaud Europe’s Director of Strategy and Innovation, said that the survey showed that people were still finding the money for causes they cared about. However, charities could do more to increase giving, he argued.

"One-off donations are an important source of income for charities but more needs to be done to turn these occasional contributors into people with an ongoing relationship with a charity,” he said. “By tracking the impact of contributions and communicating that impact back to donors, charities can increase the number of regular donors and help retain existing regular donors more effectively.

"Making it easier for supporters to learn about an organisation, answering their questions and providing clear vehicles for contributions are the three essentials for charities to take from the research."

Charities lag behind donors in mobile

Both the SONI report and Donor Perspectives survey suggest that donors have embraced mobile technologies faster than charities.

According to SONI results, approximately 30% of not-for-profits have enabled their website for mobile browsing while already nearly half of UK donors said they used their mobile phones to view websites. Also, only 20% of UK not-for-profits have optimised their email communications for mobile viewing, yet around half of donors reported viewing emails on their mobile device.

The survey report can be downloaded from:

www.blackbaud.com/donor-perspectives