Irish people say that they donated over 30% more to a charity over the 2015 Christmas period than they did over the same period in the previous year, according to new research on donor behaviour.
In total, one in three Irish adults – 1.1 million people – say that they made a donation in response to a Christmas charity appeal in 2015, similar to 2014 donor levels.
The research is carried out annually by research company Amarach on behalf of Fundraising Ireland.
Eighty-nine percent of people say that they gave the same or more than they gave to a specific Christmas appeal last year. The average donation people say they made to a charity over Christmas 2015 was €16.40, up from €12.50 in 2014. This shows an increase of over 30% – or €3.90 – on the average amount donated in 2014, and an increase of 64% on the average amount people say they donated in 2013.
Trust in charities lagging
The research also shows that, while donations are recovering, trust in the charity sector is still lagging behind. Just over half (53%) of respondents said that they had no opinion or didn’t trust charities to some degree. Last year, 47% responded similarly.
“This research shows clearly that Irish people are continuing to support the work of charities with their generous giving,”
said Lucy Masterson, chief executive of Fundraising Ireland.
“In return, we have a responsibility to give back open and transparent information about how donations are used, that we give value for money, that we give measureable details about the real impact we are having on people’s lives.”
The research also reveals a gap between what Irish donors expect of charities and what they expect people working in charities should be paid.
Sixty percent of people agree that charities should get the best professionals to work for them. However, only 38% agreed that those high level professionals should be paid competitive wages. In total 46% stated that senior management in the charity sector should be paid less than senior management in similar sized companies in the private sector.
Direct mail still most popular
An Post, who also took part in the study, said that this research also showed that direct mail had a critical role to play in fundraising success. The research shows that traditional methods of fundraising are still the most popular with donors.
“This research shows that direct mail is the strongest medium of all with regard to charity direct debit sign ups, with the research showing 1 in 4 prefer the channel, growing year on year”,
said Fiona Heffernan, An Post.
The research was carried out online with a representative sample of 1,000 people aged 16 and over. Interview fieldwork dates were January 11th to 18th, 2016. The report is available on Amarach and Fundraising Ireland’s websites.
Main image: Irish Christmas star bauble by Malosee Dolo on Shutterstock.com
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