People Who Give Do It Often, Survey Shows

June 18, 2018       NPT Staff      

Donors are giving to multiple organizations and are giving to their favorite organizations with increasing regularity. Half (50 percent) of all donors give to two or three charities and the rest are more likely to give to four or more causes (29 percent) than just one (21 percent).

Greater than half of donors (55 percent) will give to their favorite organization at least four times during the course of a year, a slight uptick from 2016’s portion of 51 percent of donors.

The data comes from the “Donor Experience Study,” a recent report by Community Brands based on survey responses from 1,000 donors. The data found that the majority of donors give to their favorite causes four or more times per year regardless of income. The number of organizations donated to increases with income. Less than one out of five (19 percent) of donors earning less than $50,000 per year give to four or more organizations, a percentage that climbs among donors earning between $50,000 and $100,000 (28 percent), more than $100,000 (41 percent), and more than $200,000 (47 percent).

Among the study’s findings:

  • Event attendees come already interested in your organization and willing to give more. Greater than three-quarters of donors (78 percent) feel at least somewhat engaged in an organization when attending an event. Afterward, 63 percent of those who enjoyed a positive experience at the event were more likely to give as compared to just 1 percent who were less likely;
  • The younger the donor, the larger the gift they are willing to make online. The average highest gift respondents said that they would make online was $299, a figure that skewed higher among Millennials ($396) and Gen Xers ($319) as compared to Baby Boomers ($277) and Mature donors ($89); and,
  • Mobile-friendly websites are important. Among the 71 percent of donors who had given via a mobile device, 46 percent had done so on their phone via the organization’s mobile website. Organizational apps (15 percent), gift by text (14 percent), and gifts via tablet (14 percent) ranked far behind.

The study also examines donors propensity to give online based on their age and gift amount. Both Millennials (41 percent to 26 percent) and Gen Xers (42 percent to 37 percent) stated that they gave online as opposed to via mail within the past year. That tendency flipped in favor of mail among Baby Boomers (51 percent to 38 percent) and Mature donors (56 percent to 37 percent).

The smaller the gift, the more likely respondents said that they would be willing to make the donation online. Nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of donors stated that they would probably or definitely give a gift of $50 or less online. That percentage trends steadily down to 32 percent for gifts of $10,000 or more.

Donors were also more likely to give a gift online to make a political statement or in response to a news event or natural disaster. Memorial gifts were the most common reason for mail-in gifts, followed by news events.

When it comes to post-donation recognition, impact reports on how the gift was used was the most popular choice across age groups, 73 percent of donors saying that they would either like such a report or wouldn’t mind receiving one. Handwritten thank-you notes (66 percent) and text confirmations (65 percent) followed behind. Text alerts for annual donation opportunities (38 percent), additional donation opportunities sent by other means (40 percent), and text alerts for upcoming events (45 percent) were among the least-popular options.

“It’s apparently clear that age and income impact how donors like to give,” said the report’s authors. “Think through and plan your appeals – what are you asking for, what type of gift are you hoping for and who are you asking . . . It’s crucial to ask key questions of your donors and maintain that demographic information to make this kind of segmentation possible.”

To read the complete report, go to communitybrands.com/resource-library/whitepapers/2018-donor-study/