39% of Aussies don't give to charity - We can change this


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.

Grow trust

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.

How to make CSR matter in your company

A successful CSR strategy engages employees, clients and communities in the pursuit of shared goals. We all have an 'imprint' that motivates us to give, but we often need the support and tools to do so. Key to this idea is integrating a culture of giving within the day to day of your workplace.

So how can you make CSR matter in your company?

1. Think about how you’ll give

As well as aligning your partnerships with like-minded organisations, you’ll need to consider budget and the amount of time you have to commit to CSR activities- consider the type of giving your company can afford to delve into.

One option is to bring the company together and organise a day of activities. GroupM took this approach with their Power of One event, which saw the company generate over $130 000 of value in a day for UnLtd charities.

Others, like recruiters 2discover, schedule in several days a year for staff to volunteer at an organisation of their choice. As CSR expert Jonathan Champ explains, some people prefer to contribute donations rather than time, so having fundraisers or giving  staff the option to sacrifice a small portion of their salary each week can encourage involvement.

Startup Stock Photos

2. Make it a priority

55% of global consumers are willing to pay extra for a product or service committed to making a positive social impact, so making CSR a priority by integrating it into your business model can ultimately have a huge impact on your bottom line.

Building partnerships with organisations who share your company values will ensure you're both working towards shared objectives. This will allow you to integrate your CSR strategy your company values, making it a part of workplace culture.

For example, Sparke Helmore’s Diversity Program, including the Six Degrees women’s network aims to encourage, motivate, and support Sparke Helmore’s women and women in their client community. This example highlights the importance of aligning your businesses strategy with your community programs to ensure maximum impact.

3. Provide support and leadership

Effective governance and leadership are key if companies are to instil a culture of giving in their workplace.

Managing Director of 2discover, Catherine Eyre, leads by example. She is on the board of The Australian Network on Disability and runs workshops to help disadvantaged Australians find work. She also supports her staff’s efforts by taking a keen interest in the volunteering they are involved in out of work, and has begun to record the activities people in the organisation are doing. People are important, she explains. "It's about asking your staff - What do you want to do? Who do you want to help?"

4. Evaluate impact

Measuring outcomes will allow you to evaluate the impact of a campaign and use your findings to support storytelling and growth. Benojo’s platform makes it easy for all parties involved to track the success of a giving campaign by integrating administration, implementation and reporting all in the one place. Using these figures, companies are able to share the success of their giving via case studies, press releases and internal updates, creating a shared sense of achievement and motivation to give.

Contact us for tips on making CSR matter in your company.

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Is your business engaging with the local community in which it operates? If it isn’t, it is missing out on many benefits, not just for those around you but for the bottom line of your business. In this article, we look at the many benefits of your agency becoming involved in community programs and how to get started.