Events the key to fundraising springing back

Enthuse Donor Pulse report Spring 2022 - illustrations highlight cost of living rises for supporters

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With the last of the Covid restrictions being lifted, there is an accelerating shift back to more normal ways of life and fundraising for many, including growing interest in events. Public generosity has been high over the last three months, and the intention to give to charitable causes remains high. But the cost of living crisis is only just beginning and as money gets tighter the average donation size may drop.

Enthuse’s quarterly donor research report, Donor Pulse, looks into these challenges and opportunities. 

The cost of giving 

Nearly half (46%) of people say they are worse off financially than six months ago. The increase in the price of groceries, fuel and energy could also impact the charity sector and create a ‘cost of giving’ crisis, with 53% of the public stating that their financial situation makes it harder to donate. 

The acceleration of the cost of living has hit the finances of all age groups. Gen Z is the best placed in that it has had mixed fortunes with around a third (36%) feeling better off and the same amount feeling worse off. Other age groups have had a much harder time of it, with half of Gen X stating they are worse off and more than half (53%) of Baby Boomers saying the same.

There is a strong correlation between the 46% of people who find themselves in a worse financial position and the 53% finding it harder to donate. While 38% say their ability to give is about the same, a mere 1 in 10 state that they would find it easier to donate than six months ago.

The public’s intent on giving

Despite the economic pressures, this does not seem to be translating into a cost of giving  crisis just yet. Three quarters of the public are planning to donate in the next three months. This is both an increase on the last quarter and an 8 percentage point rise on this time last year. 

What’s more, 76% of the public have donated over the last three months, a record high since launching Donor Pulse. 81% of under 40s gave during the last quarter. The over 40s have also been generous in the last three months with 72% donating – the highest level for that age group since the start of the pandemic. 

The number of people donating online hit a new peak over the last quarter; 45% of the public has supported a charity this way. The concept of ‘give and forget’, where people donate to charity online but forget who it was, remains more relevant than ever. 81% of donors say they remember the charity when they donate through the organisation’s site, with only 56% of people remembering the name of the charity when going through a consumer giving platform.

Events to spring back?

Confidence in physical events has largely returned as 54% of the public say they’re happy to take part, and there is still high interest in virtual and hybrid events at 58% and 63% respectively – which means virtual participation looks set to be a permanent change. Overall, 48% of the public expect to take part in a fundraising event in the next six months and this rises to 65% for under 40s. 

While there is growing confidence for getting involved with in-person events, one in five people (21%) say they are still avoiding making any major plans and a further 34% say they are not making as many plans as they used to. Covid remains the biggest reason behind this caution (55%) but it is only slightly ahead of financial concerns at 45%. 

There is a marked difference in this split of concerns with age. 64% of Gen Z cite financial concerns as the biggest obstacle to planning, whereas only 22% of 65-80 year olds do. On the other hand, Covid ranks as a concern for just over a third (36%) of 18-24 year olds, it rises to 78% for 65-80 year olds.

While the worst of the pandemic seems to be over for many people, that isn’t the case for everyone and the cost of living is a growing concern. If you’d like to get access to all of the insights, make sure you grab a copy of the latest Donor Pulse report.