Donors still lack confidence in digital giving, survey finds

Polly Gowers of Give as you Live, which polled 8,000 people, says the research will help charities to focus their resources in the right places

Polly Gowers
Polly Gowers

Digital giving channels are playing an increasingly important role in inspiring donations, but donors do not feel confident enough to give significant amounts of money through them, according to a survey of online charity supporters.

Give as you Live, a platform that enables online shoppers to donate to charity using money from the retailers’ marketing budgets, asked 8,000 online donors about their charitable giving habits and how they spend time online.

The results, published today in its Digital Donor Review, show that only 5 per cent of charitable donations are made through sites such as Facebook and Twitter, despite 30 per cent of respondents saying they were inspired to give by social media.

Less than 10 per cent of respondents said they felt confident about how securely their details would be handled through social media channels, the study says.

Sixty-two per cent of respondents said they were "nervous" or "very nervous" about how their details would be handled through social media channels.

Respondents had most confidence in charities’ own websites – 60 per cent said they felt confident or very confident that their details would be dealt with securely.

The most popular method of giving was by direct debit, which 48 per cent of donors said they had used during the past year. Only 3 per cent of respondents said text giving was their primary method of donating, but 23 per cent had given by SMS in the past 12 months.

Donors were willing to give an average of three times as much through cash donations than through text messages, according to the survey.

Charities sent the survey to their online supporters and it was also promoted by Give as you Live to its users.

Polly Gowers, founder and chief executive of Give as you Live, said: "It’s clear that in our multichannel world one of the many challenges any organisation faces is where to focus its resources. Our aim with our ongoing research is to help charities by highlighting the best channels with which to communicate to their growing number of digital donors."

The donor survey is one of Give as you Live’s Digital Giving Reviews and comes after the Charity Review 2012, which polled 500 charities.

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