Chaos Media just released some interesting research around how Australians give to charity (plus advice on how media influences donation behaviour).
The infographic speaks for itself, but here are some of the key points:
- 61% of Australians donate to charitable causes
- Young people give frequently, with a third of those aged 25-29 donating every month
- There's a 1:3:7 ratio of giving to environmental, animal and human causes respectively
- 1 in 3 people who donate monthly give more than $500
- Trust in the charitable organisation is the main influencer of whether to give
It's encouraging to see such Australian generosity, and helps explain why we're the 3rd most generous nation in the world according to the recent World Giving Index. However, flip the findings and there are some clear improvement opportunities which could result in massive societal and environmental benefits.
How charities can boost donations
Based on this research, let's have a look at what we can do, together, to increase giving. We'd all love to see Australia become the world's most generous nation in the next World Giving Index survey.
As trust is cited as a primary motivator to give - and the majority of donations are based on rational decisions - how can charities appear more trustworthy to potential donors? Some ideas:
- Greater transparency of costs
- Better reporting on the actual change their work does
- Build more long-term, personal relationships with donors
- Use social media to form an honest, open and responsive brand persona
Increase average donation amount
It is wonderful to see such a high donation amount from 1/3 of givers, but how could this increase even further?
- Form closer bonds with regular and generous donors. It's a tactic that's proven to be effective, but can be time consuming for the charity and repeated asks leads to donor fatigue so requires solid analytics and qualitative research.
- Reduce fees - some fundraising platforms charge charities over 6% for credit card donations (compare to our fees). That's $360 a year in fees for those giving $500 a month!
- Correlate donation to impact through clear communication of what each dollar means to the recipient
Connect the human story to environmental causes
This study highlights how human and animal causes combined receive 10x the funding of environmental ones. Could these approaches help re-balance this?
- Humans and animals live on the same planet. Much of today's disease and conflict is due to environmental pressure such as access to clean water, fertile land and clean air. Improving those three factors directly reduces human and animal suffering
- Think local. Global issues such as climate change can seem like an insurmountable challenge, on a scale a single person cannot comprehend. Focusing on smaller, tangible and local issues can make the problem more relevant and approachable
- Collaboration between connected causes can have more impact than when they act alone. For example, an environmental organisation may work to reduce deforestation together with a healthcare charity which vaccinates the local population while educators help them switch from logging to sustainable cash crops
Encourage older supporters to give
This report claims those in their mid to late 20s give most, yet this is not the most affluent segment of Australian society. How can we get Gen X and Baby Boomers to open their wallets?
- Segment your marketing so your message resonates with specific age groups. Your reference to Jay Z lyrics will be lost on your older supporters, whereas that Monty Python quote is likely to confuse teenagers
- Use web analytics and survey data to ascertain which marketing channels deliver the best results for target generations. For example, FaceBook might not be the best way to reach those in their 50's, instead targeted emails or printed mailers might get a better return. Test and learn
- Explore influencer marketing as a way to find shortcuts to your target demographic
Support Give Now Week (28th November to 4th December)
During Give Now Week people are encouraged to focus their attention on the many ways we can all make a difference, particularly in the lead up to Christmas. Whether through donations or volunteering, this week is about reflecting on your generosity and acting accordingly.
What else? Over to you!
This is not a complete list by any means, what have we missed? We'd love to hear your ideas and responses by dropping us a message below.