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Don’t ask, don’t get: research finds 8 out of 10 people donate after being asked

Don’t ask, don’t get: research finds 8 out of 10 people donate after being asked

People are far more likely to give to charity if they are asked to do so, according to new research. Charities that rely on hoping for spontaneous, unasked-for donations will miss out on a significant proportion of their income.

The new research, published in an (IoF) and YouGov report, reveals that 81% percent of people who gave a donation did so after being asked to support a cause, rather than it being a spontaneous decision.

The most common form of being asked to donate was through a charity shop (22%). Another 9% gave to someone collecting through a bucket or a collection tin.

The report, Insights on charity fundraising: Why people give and their experience of donating, highlights the importance of fundraising and how and why people choose to donate to the causes they care about, is based on a survey conducted earlier this year.

It found that a third of donors would not have given at all, had they not been asked, and some would have given a smaller amount if they hadn’t been asked.

  • 30% of those who were asked to donate thought they would not have donated at all if they were not asked.
  • 10% said that they would have donated a smaller amount if they hadn’t been asked.

Motivations to give

The survey asked people what had motivated them to give their most recent donation to charity.

  • 59%: it was a cause they believed in
  • 37%: supporting charities is a good thing to do
  • 21%: the charity had helped someone they know

The report is the first in a series of results from the research. Further ‘Insights in charity fundraising reports’ examining fundraising and the views and experience of the public will be published this month and in June.

 

Daniel Fluskey, Head of Policy and Research at the Institute of Fundraising, said: ‘Money raised through fundraising activities is the single most important source of income for the charity sector. People in the UK are incredibly generous, with levels of giving improving year on year.

“Today’s report shows that it is the ‘ask’ and engagement through fundraising that translates good intentions into donations. Without fundraising, we wouldn’t have charitable giving at the same level, and these findings demonstrate the importance of having a range of opportunities to reach people through fundraising, as well as reminding us that people give because they care about causes and want to do something good.”

The report, Insights on charity fundraising: Why people give and their experience of donating can be downloaded as a PDF from the Institute of Fundraising.

 

 

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Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world's first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp.

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